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What now for Schumacher? Germany speculates…
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Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Oct 2012   |  2:07 pm GMT  |  337 comments

The news that Michael Schumacher will not race for Mercedes next season unsurprisingly continues to dominate the sports news agenda in Germany, as the country’s media speculates on what the seven-time world champion may or may not do next.

It’s from the angle of Schumacher’s departure from the race seat, rather than Lewis Hamilton’s arrival, that the newspaper articles have naturally generally been pitched from with the consensus being that there is no escaping from the blunt fact that Schumacher was dropped by Mercedes, with the 43-year-old’s own indecisiveness over his future having ensured he is no longer the master of his F1 destiny.

Germany’s biggest circulation newspaper, Bild, has carried a string of reaction stories since Friday’s announcement and on Saturday ran an article entitled “Gambled and sacked. Mercedes drops Schumacher” which contained the opening line “what an undignified farewell for the greatest racer of all time”.

It goes on to suggest that the German legend “gambled heavily” by delaying a decision over his 2013 plans as “he imagined himself in a safe position” given it was only recently that Mercedes fancied its chances of luring Hamilton away from McLaren.

With Mercedes’ statement announcing Hamilton’s arrival having surprisingly contained no information on what the 43-year-old will do next, Bild has since offered hope to the German’s fans by suggesting that it is “50-50” whether he will retire again or carrying on racing elsewhere on the grid, with his spokeswoman Sabine Kehm quoted as saying that “anything is possible”.

While the offer of an advisory or ambassadorial role with Mercedes is said to be on the table, the tabloid suggests that switches to Sauber, Lotus or Ferrari could not yet be ruled out, making clear that the “racer’s fire still burns and “he is not about money”.

However, other newspapers are less enamoured about the prospect of Schumacher trying to extend his career still further. Under the headline, “Schumacher off the track – Brutal end of career”, Die Welt advises that “Schumacher should leave it at that” and instead consider a switch to team management.

Indeed the newspaper suggests that Schumacher’s clumsy accident in Singapore last weekend firmly led Mercedes to look at the future: “For three years, despite all the mistakes, Mercedes stood behind its star driver. But the disastrous weekend of Singapore has seen the mood swing round. Hamilton suddenly seemed attractive.”

Berlin’s Der Tagesspiegel goes further by painting the image of Schumacher as “a hitchhiker without a destination”, going on to say that “the most successful racing driver in history is like a hitchhiker who has been thrown out on the roadside”. The newspaper thinks that the fact Schumacher hasn’t yet announced his future plans shows he is seriously considering trying to race on elsewhere.

It also agrees with Bild that events with Hamilton had simply overtaken Schumacher’s own timeframe: “He did not realise that his name was less significant in its own racing team. As he explained almost cheekily, he would decide no earlier than October, Mercedes had enough. They made contact with Lewis Hamilton and Schumacher suddenly was only a spectator in the race for his own future. At the end of the 91-time Grand Prix winner, was sacked with a press release so cold, as he had done earlier with his opponents.”

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337 Comments
  1. Anil says:

    Man, I’ve got to say I’m going to be gutted if Michael doesn’t continue next year.

    Having grown up supporting him week in, week out I can honestly say the sport just isn’t the same for me without him there. What’s even more frustrating is that his pace this year has been incredible, particularly for someone of his age, and if Mercedes provided him with a race winning car he’d be right at the front. I’ve lost count of the amount of times he’s got himself ahead of the faster guys.

    James, what are michaels current options for you think? I remember saying during the Spa weekend when we met that I would’ve loved for Michael to go to ferrari for a year, do you think this is remotely possible? If not, I’m guessing Sauber (or even williams?) are his only options? What about Lotus?

    What a shame that the most successful driver of all time has effectively wasted the last 3 years. If he moves again he’ll have to start all the hard work again and hope he lands in a decent car.

    1. thejudge13 says:

      Maybe you’ll get yor wish Anil, Schumacher to Ferrari. But surely its more likely to be Schauber (not mispelt… http://wp.me/p2HWOP-5S )

      Schumaker lives near Geneva, Sauber are close to Zurich – a short plane hop – or pleasant 300km mountain drive.

      Peter’s already retired once, and maybe he could leave the team in Schumacher’s safe hands in a couple of years.

      I do agree with you that it would have been good to see Schumacher win following his return even though I never liked him much in the dominant years.

      Its a bit like McEnroe, Tom Watson and many others. Suddenly in their twilight years its nostalgic to see them return to the highest level.

      Anyway, all the F1 intelligensia said it would be illogical for Hamilton to go to Mercedes and then…

      Schumacher to Ferrari – what a tale that would be.

      1. JEZ Playense says:

        Yes! Micheal finally says “Massa, I’m faster than you!”

    2. JTW says:

      ” … particularly for someone of his age …” I think that says it all. Face it, everyone ages, and as they do, they begin to decline physically …. yes, even Schumacher. The sport isn’t the same for me anymore either … those years of the Schumacher/Ferrari juggernaut were monotonously boring …
      Move on.

      1. Richard Foster says:

        How bloody rude! “Move on” We’ll do some moving on when retirement is announced, until then let the Schumi fans have their fun and keep their fingers crossed he continues.

      2. Kay says:

        MS fans lived very well during MS’s retired years 2007-2009.

        So yeah, move on.

      3. chris says:

        ok, to all the people that say Retire because he is old. that is the stupidst thing i ever heard. THE GUY GOT POLE AT MONACO. Hello. that means he is fast. I’m sorry but it takes a lot of skill to do that with a grid of speed deamons such as…. Lewis, alonso, raikanen, vettel and more. To some 43 is old for f1. But we are talking about a guy who is clearly in shape and cleary is still fast, not to mention a 91 race winner and a 7 time world champion with 2 differnt teams. Yes he has chinks in his armor but so does Mercedes. hense the lack of podiums. I say ferrari needs to give him the red suit back and lets go win some races. GO MS.

      4. paul says:

        Im sorry, is this not the guy who piloted an F1 car, certainly not the best one, round Monaco at qualifying, quicker than anyone else this year.
        So not 1 single younger driver could nail it quicker around Monaco in qualifying-and you reckon he ispast it??!!

      5. JTW says:

        One pole, three years. Oh, and he’s just retired … again. I rest my case.

    3. joep01 says:

      I don’t agree that he’s wasted the last three years, and it’s not like being replaced by Hamilton is the same as being replaced by Bruno Senna (in the case of Heidfeld at Spa in 2011). But I guess it depends on what you think equates to “wasting” those years. I would have to think they were both personally satisfying (to be back in an F1 car, even if not victorious, after having spent several years on the sidelines), and lucrative – probably even professionally stimulating. I’m glad he came back, disappointed he didn’t win, but eager to see him make the decisions now that best serve Michael Schumacher.

      1. Paul says:

        its sad the way he has been written off, because in the last races he has actually been very impressive. Every time he makes a mistake its blamed on his age. But is this the case? Hamilton and Massa were crashing all over the place last season.

        It seems to be that he has been getting quicker since his comeback. Who knows where it could have gone. For me, Him, Hamilton, and Alonso are the most exciting drivers on the grid. They give nothing away and make f1 worth watching.

      2. Dave C says:

        I wouldn’t say Alonso is more exciting, brilliant as he is but a bit dull if you ask me, also Hamilton and Schumi are both exciting but as you said prone to accidents and bitter moves on other drivers, but don’t worry Seb will still take this title.

      3. Roberto Arroyo says:

        MSC still has a lot to do in an F1 car, i think maybe we are fooling ourselves thinking he was sacked or that MERC just got Hamilton because Schumacher took too long to take a decision. I think either he decided to retire and not say until the last moment or he already negotiated a contract for 1 or 2 years with Ferrari. Alonso said a replacement should be better tha MAS, he didn´t said don´t fire Massa…. That will be a dream team and possibly the most exciting since Prost & Senna. Massa can go to Sauber and most will be happy, i don´t think F1 is ready for Schumi to leave, if your read most comments relate to “He´s still fired up”, among other comments. This year he is 8-6 against ROS in quali.

    4. Ace says:

      I hope Schuey will be able to find another drive as him being on the F1 grid has made the sport more enjoyable to watch. Considering his age I think he’s done a great job and recently has been out performing Rosberg who is in the same car.

      I think they should seriously get back to racing as the rules being imposed on drivers today is restrictive to “going for it”

      If the rules imposed today were around when Senna,Prost,Piquet and Mansell were around they probably would not have one a champoinship.

      Formula one is about the best car and driver combination and they should be able to push the envelope to the best of their ability as no driver on the grid wants to end up out of the race.

      Scheuy has proven over the years that he can perform under testing conditions and let’s be honest the Mercedes has let him down on a number of occasions. Given the car was not competative they should have at least consulted Schuey on what they were going to do with Hamilton as I’m sure he gave them great feedback on how to improve the car during his stint with them.

      I hope in the remaining races Schuey places the car in points position and absolutely goes for it as he has nothing to lose.

      Good luck Scheuy hope your on the grid somewhere next year.

  2. GhostWriter says:

    Schumacher for Ferrari. You read it here first.

    1. db4tim says:

      Bad idea…FA runs the place now…For MS that time has passed.

    2. AlexD says:

      He left Ferrari to give Muppet his place (his own words) and you think now he will come to replace him?

    3. Ray Burns says:

      As soon as Eddie Jordan speculated the Hamilton to Mercedes deal I thought Michael to Ferrari, everyone would love to see it happen and what a wonderful way to bring the curtain down on a glittering career! It’s what we all want.

      1. JTW says:

        What we all want? Not. Let the man retire. Move on.

      2. Shirleen Riffe says:

        Formula 1 is a circus, and a circus needs big acts. Without Michael it loses it’s biggest act and will suffer the loss of millions of fans. Names like DiResta, Rosberg, and Massa are boring and will not put butts in the seats. As ringmaster Bernie guides this process more than anyone knows.

      3. Ben Orza says:

        JTW, there is one little matter you do not understand and probably never will! You race for so many years, that is even before F1, if you ever get there; then you have a successful and unprecedented F1 career inspired by the love and passion of the sport and then you just RETIRE? NEVER!
        I have been a very poor racing driver for more years than I wish to record and I cannot even consider hanging up my helmet! Racing is in the blood and without the sport I am not me and definitely Michael would not be Michael!

        I enjoyed F1 racing for many years but never as much as I did during the years of Schumacher/Ferrari, and that is not because I am a Ferrarista and have been for many years. Michael not only gave me and motor racing fans everywhere on the planet something to look forward: to the next race; to the beginning of the racing season. He was a pleasure to watch and an inspiration to realise on the race track (for me and my racing fellowmen). The sadness I felt when he retired from F1 and Ferrari is only equal to joy he gave to all when he returned to the track with Mercedes. Yes, I and many wished he had made his come back with the old firm(Ferrari) of course, but a pleasure to see him back, nevertheless. Now the sadness returns with the prospect of having to say goodbye for the second time. Never! Go on Michael, you old maestro, show the world that you were and still ARE the best and give ME the pleasure to see you Champion again!

      4. Kay says:

        I prefer to see MS to McLaren, take Button’s seat and show the guy how to properly drive an understeery car and set it up correctly.

    4. Lindsay says:

      I’ve read that elsewhere, many times before.

    5. Hutch says:

      One more year in a Ferrari; It’d be the best possible send off. Any lesser drive would be too sad. Go out the Lauda/Prost way, not the Damon Hill/Villeneuve way!

  3. Beatle Ed says:

    That’s cruel.

  4. Johnny Benerba says:

    It definitely is an undignified farewell. I do think we have not been told the complete truth regarding this situation. It will be interesting to see what unfolds.

    1. thejudge13 says:

      Apparently ‘Bild’ has the truth. Lauda has been parachuted in by the Board of Mercedes as Chairman of the F1 team, with powers to scrutinise expenditure and ensure Haug and Brawn deliver more bang for the buck.

      This is allegedly why the Mercedes stalling over Concorde was ended swiftly and Hamilton was signed. “Badges on Lauda’s Cap”.

      Hence no offer to Schumacher of a management position. wp.me/p2HWOP-5X

      OMG!!!

      1. thejudge13 says:

        Sorry link to (Bild) story Lauda new Boss at Mercedes AMG F1 was wrong – try again
        http://wp.me/p2HWOP-5X

      2. Mav says:

        Bild?!? Bild wouldn’t recognise the truth if it came up and slapped them in the face!

      3. hero_was_senna says:

        I can’t speak for Haug, but last time Brawn lost Schumacher from the team, ie, Ferrari with Kimi arriving, he took a sabbatical and went fishing.

        If Lauda really has powers to scrutinise expenditure, he has powers which will frustrate Brawn. I can see him leaving the team within months.

        I will also add, Lauda was a special advisor to Ferrari in 1991-1992, LdM got rid of him and brought Todt in.
        Then Lauda ended up running the Jaguar F1 team, and look at the disaster that became..

        What also worries me is that Mercedes for some years have refused to pump in money to the F1 team. I understand they don’t have to or want to, but having someone looking at budgets etc doesn’t seem to have their focus on winning.

        I remember well an interview with Patrick Head back in the late 90′s and he was speaking of Ferrari’s massive expenditure.
        Calculations showed they were spending $250,000,000 a year.
        Head said he understood that a lot of that was to bring the team up to date with the competition, but he also made a case of a bit of pits equipment that cost 300 to 400k.
        Williams had 2 which they would service between GP’s whereas Ferrari had 10 or 12.

        I understand efficient use of resources, but I’m not sure that is Mercedes goal.

      4. joe123 says:

        Interesting info on how Lauda carved out this role. http://wp.me/p2HWOP-6d

        Might be stormy times ahead for brawn, haug and co.

    2. Doobs says:

      It’s simple enough, Merc had the chance to snap up a disenchanted Hamilton whereas Schumi has only one or two years left at the top level realistically. Same happened to him at Ferrari when Kimi became available. I’d like to see the old man back in a Ferrari, surely he could do a better job than Massa until the rumoured arrival of Vettel in ’14..

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        I agree, and I think Schumacher was arrogant enough to believe his decision was more important than the team.
        I think left to Haug or Brawn, then maybe they would have given him time, but how long has Lauda been there?

        I’d be fascinated to see MSC at Ferrari, because he is part of the teams legend, but I’m not sure if he would do a better job than Massa. He hasn’t exactly had the Mercedes in places it didn’t deserve to be in.
        Ferrari? Alonso has been incredible this year, but Massa has struggled with a poor car.

      2. Elie says:

        Im sure Daimler did NOT want Schumacher to be calling the shots on when he retires & him impacting on the future direction.Niki Lauder must have been told get in there do the deal with Hamilton and once thats done they could sign the Concorde because Im sure anyone with any real sense is sick to death of this endless loyalty to MS and for sure Daimler could not be certain that the close association of Brawn and Haug would get in the way of the massive investment they have allowed Brawn to make- keep in mind that Ross Brawn will probably retire himself soon.-maybe even sooner now that most things have been bedded down.!. I just see Lauda as the eyes & ears for Daimler in this transition and through next year as certainly beyond next year they will be on the lookout for a new chief- I certainly hope it’s not Lauda- surely Daimler have bigger aspirations than that!

        Up until a few hours ago I would have thought that Ferrari was no way for Michael, but given that they have delayed their decision till next few races for Felipe, Hulkenberg or Di Resta – Im starting to think MS must surely being considered as a 1 year deal -as this is what they see as best. ( I personally think its insane ). But as Ive said before -seen Ferrari do dumber things that led them here !

  5. Ryan M says:

    Im amazed more isnt being made of the fact that Ferrari have a vacant seat should they wish to oust a driver that has underperformed since his 10 seconds as world champion in 2008.

    Schumacher in for 1 year, Vettel in for 2014 (I believe this is happening regardless never smoke without fire in F1 as Hamilton has proved this week).

    1. KGBVD says:

      Agreed 100%.

      How did Ferrari go from “Days away from confirming Massa” to complete radio silence? What happened? Schumi became available.

      Perez was only ever going to be a stop-gap until Seb go there, which is why Luca D. didn’t seemed too flushed about going after Cecho (who surely cost $s to get out of Sauber).

      Schumi to Ferrari for the year. One final blaze of glory and hopefully one final race win. I’d put on my red cap for that one!

      1. Luca says:

        According to the BBC, Paul di Resta, Mass and Hulkenberg are in the picture over at Ferrari for next year, with some saying the Hulk has already signed.

        I could see di Resta going to Ferrari, Massa to Sauber and Schumie to Force India.

        Schumie playing second fiddle to FA, just aint on the cards, nope, no way, nada, nah, no.

      2. James Allen says:

        I’ve been saying that for a few weeks now. One of the FI drivers is on an option with Ferrari, probably Hulk

      3. zombie says:

        Schumi is near synonymous with F1 in Middle east, south asia and US. I highly doubt if he’ll ever join Force India, but if he does, then it’ll be a great marketing opportunity for the Sahara stickered team that is struggling to survive.

      4. Kay says:

        Disagree 200%

        Two tigers cannot share the same turf.

        Get real.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      It may happen for a few reasons, he realistic in his ability now, so is happy to be driving. He is happy with his legacy from 1991 to 2006 and this is merely fun.
      He may be offered a return to Ferrari as special ambassador after his retirement.

      Stranger things have happened…

      The most recent copy of F1 Racing has a Q&A with Schumacher. I would imagine it was conducted at some point over the Belgian or Italian GP weekends, but I found this very interesting…

      “Q: I feel that in 2006 Ferrari forced you out and that you didnt really want to retire at the time. Is that true? (Don Diklick, USA)

      “A: Two hundred percent ‘no’. One year Ferrari had their traditional Christmas party and up on stage I told Mr Di Montezemolo that I was retiring and he said: “Think about it again. Here is an offer – you can have a contract for the rest of you life. No matter what you want, you can have it, we want you to stay.”
      Now it might be coincidence but Mr Montezemolo called me up yesterday for a chat and we still have a good relationship.
      It’s what I decided then and it’s what I wanted at the time. As I’ve said before I was just empty. There was no energy and no destiny for me to go any further and I had my ‘little brother’ – that’s Felipe Massa – and I was happy for him to take over the position from me.”

      Make of that what you will.

      1. paul says:

        “His ability now”-like sticking it on pole in Monaco sort of ability?

  6. Gerry says:

    I would say there is zero chance if a move to Ferrari or Lotus. It’s either Sauber, retirement or a long shot but Frank Williams may give him a shot alongside Maldonado.

    What do you think James?

    1. Sebee says:

      I think the Sauber story has legs.

      I’m finally getting clear that this whole tour is a payback tour. I think he’ll go to Sauber to help sell some sponsorship space on the car after Petronas went to Mercedes when Schumi signed. I think Michael felt bad for Peter when Petronas left. This Michael guy seems to be a stand up guy. That he has the ability to pay back those who helped him at the start, well, suddenly I’m seeing his legacy grow through this act. I mean, who but absolute F1 royalty can do such things in F1? Come back not to win or claim hardware, but to work off the help he got early on. Impressive.

      1. Paige says:

        Yeah, I think Schumacher is probably the biggest bastard in human history on the race track, but I have noticed that he has shown signs off the track of really being a pleasant guy. You don’t get a whole team built around you without having some way of gaining their admiration. When Luca asked him to step in when Massa was hurt, Schumi gave it his best shot- it didn’t work out, but he still gave it a shot. And then Brawn went to Schumacher after Mercedes agreed to buy the team, asked him to help develop the project, and he agreed. He has demonstrated that, in addition to being the greatest driver in F1 history, he also has a really unmatched amount of loyalty in the Paddock- and loyalty is something that doesn’t exist in many corners at all.

        I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he went to race for Sauber for a couple of years. Sauber got him started as a professional racing driver with his sports car team, and it was a key step in his development as a driver. Schumacher likely feels some loyalty to him, and he would be a tremendous hire for a team like Sauber. They’ve shown they can build a car with strong race pace already. If you bring in Michael’s technical skills and experience, you’ll have someone who can really help you to develop the car. He has made a definite impact at Mercedes, as they started the year with a car that won a race. (They didn’t improve the car during the year, but still- big progress from year one.) He could also attract sponsors. Would be a great match.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        1) He’s not the greatest, He is one of them

        2) Sauber didn’t get him started in his sportscar team. He was signed by Mercedes to their junior sportscar team and Sauber just happened to be the chassis builders, but it was all Mercedes funded.

        3) After 3 years, what development has there been in the Mercedes team. It won in China and has shown speed on occasions, but generally the car has fallen back to being the 5th best car on the grid…just.
        I’d argue that Williams is faster but has had poor reliability and poor driving at times.

      3. zombie says:

        Statistics is all we rely on when you cannot compare drivers and cars from different era, and statistically Schumacher is the greatest ever by a long margin.

        I’ll be the first one to raise my hand and say he is probably half the driver he was 10 yrs ago, but even the half is good or better than half the current grid. Schumacher and Peter Sauber go a long way back, and it was Willie Weber convincing Peter Sauber to hire the talented 20 year old that brought Mercedes backing the proposal. So he still needs to repay Sauber and Eddie Jordan, but since the later isn’t around anymore, Sauber is all that is left for Schumacher to retrace his steps, and thank those who helped him achieve his magnificent career.

        As for developing a car, with no testing, it is near impossible for a driver alone to make much difference in the in-season development.With Brawn at helm, and Mercedes budget, one would’ve thought Mercedes GP would come up with a decent car in 3 years, but they are still playing catch up, and this year they seem to be on par or below Williams,Sauber and Force India.

      4. Sebee says:

        I fully agree with zombie. (OK, that’s a sentence I never thought I would have to put together)

        Schumacher is the greatest. He is at the top of the charts, and every other sport defines greatest in this way. And so he is the greatest – period. He was darn thrilling to watch too.

        If Aliens come to earth after watching decades of our F1 broadcasts they will look for Schumi to sign their space ship KERS units because he is at the top of the F1 charts and thus the greatest. And if I was you guys, I wouldn’t argue with Aliens.

      5. timW says:

        Schumacher was the best driver of his era. That doesn’t make him the best ever. he racked up big numbers but how many championships would Clark, Rindt and Senna have won if they hadn’t been killed? How many would Stewart have won if he hadn’t grown tired of seeing his friends die? And surely Fangio is the best driver statistically, 7 full seasons of F1, won 5 second twice, and he made his debut at 38!

      6. Martin says:

        The getting Sauber sponsorship is a good point that I hadn’t heard or thought of before. Does Michael like/not hate Chelsea give his desire to play right wing?

    2. Fireman says:

      Bottas will get the second Williams seat.

      1. James Allen says:

        I’m not so sure.

        He will eventually, but he may have to start somewhere else first. Depends how their sponsor hunting goes.

      2. Ralf F says:

        Williams are also probably watching the elections next week in Venezuela. There is a remote chance that the next government decides that Williams and Pastor are not worth the amount of money they are giving.

      3. Fireman says:

        James,

        Regarding Finnish drivers, what do you think of Kovalainen’s chances of getting a better seat? He doesn’t seem to be mentioned in any of the rumors.

        As for Bottas, I’m hoping the hunt goes well.

      4. KRB says:

        Ralf F, does Chavez strike you as the type to take a defeat graciously, and just ride out into the sunset?

  7. FerrariFan says:

    I think ferrari should take him on for a year. I am sure he will get more points than Massa.

  8. Jude says:

    Schumacher is mortal after all. Like any one of us, his greatest strength has been his greatest weakness. Michael has no sense of limits.

  9. alan says:

    time for schumacher to wake up and smell der Kaffee. he hasn’t impressed me since his return 3 years ago. I don’t particularly like the mercedes team. the car certainly is way off the mark.[also, an all silver car is never attractive-it needs colour] but we all expected michael to be on the podium on a regular basis and it just ain’t happened. he has been very disappointing. and how many collisions has he been involved in…not to mention his dangerous driving. no man is bigger than the team. he thought the decision was his to make. he is no better than anyone else. if you don’t win races then you’re out. aufwiedersehn michael

    1. Doobs says:

      The crashes come with being buried in the pack and trying to live up to his reputation. In clear air, the dude is still fast.

      1. John says:

        Being fast has never been enough.

        I believe that the reason schumacher has struggled is that the other drivers no longer hold him in awe – thank goodness. It was terrible to see so many drivers jump out of his way every time they saw a red car in their mirrors – it was as if Bernie had insisted teams include a clause in driver contracts that schumacher must be allowed past… or expect to be driven off the track.

        The biggest difference between his 2 phases as an F1 driver is that the other cars he smashes into now are not championship contenders.

      2. alan says:

        oh well…that excuses him!

      3. Doobs says:

        No excuse, just facts of life. Ask 2010 Hamilton about rear Enders.

      4. Kay says:

        He had plenty of clean up when he was fighting with HAM in Italy last year, didn’t see the same speed from his first career.

        And the guy has never been fast fast anyway, he’s fast, ok, faster than probably Button and maybe on par with Alonso, but never Hamilton fast or Raikkonen fast.

        His abilities lay in team building, working his butt off till it sparks from rubbing the tarmac, not speed.

      5. Kay says:

        clean air*

    2. Simmo says:

      ‘an all silver car is never attractive-it needs colour’. Seriously? There is a history behind the silver arrows, that is their livery, and that Mercedes F1 is known.

      Michael is fast. His podium (was going to be 5th but even so) came off because of speed. In China he would have been 2nd if his pit crew hadn’t messed it up.

      1. KRB says:

        Germany’s traditional racing colour (that and white). But I’m not a fan of the Petronas teal … go silver and black, Oakland Raiders style. Red numbers also traditional.

    3. Kay says:

      I concur.

      Mercedes always seemed more of a PR activity to me than a racing team that wants to win. I’ve always had the impression that the Merc board never liked the idea.

      + I never understood why ever since Merc came to the F1 circus, everyone been saying they are part of the big boys band. Just coz they got huge markets in their road car division, everyone been saying “Oh Merc will be up there along with RBR, McLaren and Ferrari”.

      For three years now they’ve still never been part of the big boys, despite everyone been saying so. I can’t help but feel they’ll do another BMW and leave F1 some time soon.

  10. Jeremy Lord says:

    Schumi is pretty much scuppered. Apart from Hamilton, Mercedes have also taken on Niki Lauda in a consultancy role, so that avenue is blocked.

    If Vettel really is going to Ferrari in 2014, perhaps the option of a single and final season with the Scuderia is Schumi’s best option, but he won’t look good against Vettel.

    1. aditya-now says:

      What do you think – Michael driving alongside Vettel in a Ferrari in 2014? Alonso dissolving into thin air?

      First of all the pairing Alonso/Vettel will be most interesting, if it indeed happens.

      Secondly, Schumi will possibly be best placed at Sauber – although the thought of Michael making a “payback tour” is a little over the top and too romantic for F1. Yet, Peter Sauber has a soft spot in his heart for aging champions.

      1. alex says:

        Sure – Ferrari extended contract with Alonso until 2017 just to put Schumacher with Vettel. What about bringing Lauda, Prost, Alesi back?
        The only possible way to complete your idea – at least one title now for Alonso and then Alonso – Perez lineup for McLaren in 2014 – to finish what he was not allowed to do in 2007.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I think he meant Michael would not good against Alonso. As in single and final season..

      3. Val from montreal says:

        Oh no – not you !! Are’nt you supposed to be doing your schumi bashing on the autosport BB ?? Its me , 7timesbetterthantherest …. Bye

  11. Wink says:

    Please don’t go to Sauber. He is good enaugh to fight for the world championship, so if there is an oppertunity to go to Ferrari…DO IT!.

  12. Christopher says:

    I have a strong feeling taht Schumi is not done yet. He has out qualified and out paced his teammate alot this year. Drivers that have lost it do not qualify on pole in Monaco. I hope Schumi gets a drive with Sauber. They have a good car this year and the rules are to stay basically the same. That gives them a solid spot in 2013. There is also an outside shot that Michael could return to the Scuderia to partner Alonso in what I would consider the best driver line up in forever. Michael could have his shot at a return victory or 2 and Alonso would get the chance to find out who is best once and for all. :) That would be awesome.

    1. Paul says:

      haha just imagine that driver line up!

      Its true, how many other drivers on the grid or in f1 history can say they have been on pole position at Monaco.

      1. Martin says:

        Not Lewis Hamilton, for one :-)

        There was a time when Nico Rosberg was being talked up as a title contender because at China and Monaco the Merc was the quickest car and Nico has scored the most points since Malaysia. It went to nothing, but in terms of performance, the real story of Monaco qualifying was the inability of the Renault to turn its tyres on over on lap and Nico making a mess of qualifying again (Australia, Bahrain come to mind). Schumacher’s lap was good to very good, but relative to car performance slower than Webber’s.

        The Mercedes drivers have been good at getting out of position, so it has been rarer that they have been racing each other this year. I remember last year Schumacher just edging Rosberg in India with a better strategy. In return Rosberg gave Schumacher an arse kicking in Abu Dhabi. I’d like to see a few good head to heads before the end of the year.

        Cheers,
        Martin

    2. Chris says:

      If it’s just one year at Ferrari, I don’t think Michael can compete with Alonso, as he need to get used with the car. Alonso already been driving the Ferrari for few years now. It’s not a fair comparison.

      1. Christopher says:

        You are probably right. But I don’t know that it’s the car so much as it’s the tires that have held Michael up. Not being able to push 10/10s and having to nurse the Perellis by delta has been hard on him.

      2. Doobs says:

        If MS went to Ferrari it would be as tail gunner to Alonso, with Schumi picking up the odd win. Michael isn’t naive enough to think he can just walk back in and have Alonso as his number two….

    3. hero_was_senna says:

      The best driver line up ever… contentious

      There is one in history called Senna vs Prost which would take some beating. Maybe also Fangio vs Moss. But it would certainly be top 3.
      As to Alonso proving who is best once and for all, maybe if they were the same age, but Alonso is 31 and MSC is 43. The MSC of 2000-2002 would have been interesting

      1. Christopher says:

        @ hero was Senna
        I agree, it would have been a lot more formidable if they were closer in age. And yes Senna Prost was probably #1. It just seems amazing that we could see Michael back in red again. I know it is a long shot, but it would be appropriate for him to finish his career with the Scuderia. The more I read, the more I think Sauber is a good possibility. But to keep hope alive, Ferrari did oddly come out with the Massa hasn’t sined anything yet story. Also, I wonder who “the little birdy” is that whispered the Ferrari rumor in the recent article? I hope it was Eddie Jordan. He seems to have the inside track on things lately.

  13. Jeremy Lord says:

    I should have said against Alonso, of course.

  14. James says:

    You can understand why Schumacher would of been hesitant or undecided to re-sign with Mercedes, after 3 years he must of been wondering if they would ever get there act together.

    Could he really have risked another season battling with a mid field car again? the media have been on his case ever since he stepped foot in that team, so I very much doubt it.

  15. Alectoris82 says:

    I’m a Ferrari fan and I’m quite sad for Micheal. But I think he will go on racing.

  16. Wayne says:

    Reassuring to see that the UK is not the only nation who tabloids are quite happy to stick the knife in and break it off at the first chance to do so – national hero and legend or not.

    I hate bloody tabloids, they serve no purpose in life other than to satiate the masses of idiots out there who cannot be bothered to read beyond a headline (unless it’s to look at whacking great breasts apparently). They’re leaches, but its the poeple that read them who are to blame. Them and the antichrist – Murdoch.

    1. Sebee says:

      Wayne,

      Who do you think today’s German F1 fan follows? Vettel – the 2 time champion, or is he still #2 to Schumi? Wonder if there is any way to quantify.

      1. Lindsay says:

        To quantify, we’ll have to wait for the end of Vettel’s career.

      2. Wayne says:

        Just in my uninformed opinion – I bet the average fan follows SV (best chance of having something to cheer and fans are fickle) but they would all cheer much louder and longer if Schumi were to win a race!

      3. Sebee says:

        Yup. They may be with Vettel now with their minds for the reason you say. But I bet Schumi owns the German F1 Fan’s hearts.

        Did you ever hear that slow “romantic” German song about Schumi? There is even a dance song with F1 engine throttle blips and shifts. Schumacher. Wroom Wroom. It’s got a killer beat.

    2. AlexD says:

      I thought people no longer think this way…:-)

    3. Basil says:

      I agree 100%!!!

      1. Greg says:

        You guys should check out Schumi against Vettel at the ROC last year in Germany. That answers the question.

        In short. Schumi fluncks his start, canes it to beat vettel and the crowd didn’t know what to do. It was a very civilised applause.

        Roll on Bangkok! Can the dream team make it 6 in a row??

  17. AdrianP says:

    MSC to Williams would be the most interesting proposition for me. This year’s Williams seems to be a very quick car which hasn’t had the points which it deserves. SEN hasn’t really shined, so is probably near the door. MAL is presumably secure and quick despite all his obvious shortcomings. Williams showed with BAR that they don’t have any problem with employing journeymen! With MSC and MAL they might have a good blend of youthful exuberance and the wise old hand. It would also be a PR coup for Williams.

  18. Sebee says:

    Since we know Schumi will take our advice by reading the fan comments on JAonF1, I say “Schumi, Stay!”

    You are definately and obviously adding value, and I bet your Schumi branded Mercedes gear outsold Nico’s 3:1.

    But where would you drive? Next to Alonso at Ferrari replacing Massa whom you like? I don’t think you would take away his seat unless Ferrari already “fired” him.

    Will Schumi let Rubens keep that “Most GPs started” record? I think not!

    1. Laurence H says:

      3:1…? More like 250:1, I suspect.

      1. Sebee says:

        You think there is a fan reading JAonF1 who owns a Nico shirt kit? I wonder if we can find that 1.

  19. Robert says:

    In my opinion the relevant question is “What does Michael Schumacher want from F1?”. If it is to win races, championships; get podiums or poles; then clearly he has to get the Ferrari seat or quit. But if he still has a desire to simply exist in F1 then I suspect he will find a ride; he will provide plenty of sponsorship to a team like Sauber to take him in lieu of a pay driver.

    I hope he is happy with the decision he makes; and that when he does finally retire he finds something to keep him occupied.

  20. gudien says:

    Big news indeed. Something tells me Herr Schumacher thought he was ‘too big and important’ when dealing with Merc leadership.

    Now, back to reality.

    1. zombie says:

      Herr Schumacher also thought Mercedes could come up with a decent car in 3 years, they did not. And signing Nicki Lauda as a advisor proves they will end up as another Jaguar/Toyota.

      1. madmax says:

        Well said Zombie

      2. nino says:

        Esacltly.
        And last but not the least, LH very likely will not win another WC for the next 3 years….

      3. Koka says:

        +1 great reply to all those, who doesnt even care to respect Michael

      4. JayWest says:

        You got it right Zombie. I really don’t see Hamilton winning another championship with Mercedes. And the arrival of Lauda may will send Brawn packing too, which would leave Merc. struggling for direction. Hopefull Schumie will end up at Ferrari. I’m sure Ferrari/Alonso and Schumie could come to some understanding: it would be a a good farewell for Schumie and it could only help Ferrari. I don’t see Alonso having too much of an issue with it, or at least not seeing Schumie as a major threat to his status with the Scuderia. And if Schumie does pull off some great drives, or even a podium or two, I’m sure the team will balance the situation and make sure Alonso ends up with the championshio (if the Ferrari is up to the task). Regardless, I really hope to see Schumie in red next year. What Mercedes may accomplish next year, even with Hamilton at the wheel, is a bigger question mark.

  21. Merlinghnd says:

    Anything is possible, how about Schumacher to Sauber as part owner/driver and then full owner??

    He would not be the first ex driver to become team owner but with Perez seat available and Peter Sauber not wanting to be a team owner forever it could be a neat fix for all concerned. Schumachers links with Ferrari would also fit well with Sauber.

    Making it work though could be very difficult though but I think Schumacher likes a challenge and the cut and thrust of F1.

    1. Jez K says:

      Intriguing concept. Personally I hope he does go to sauber because it neatly ties up any loose ends in his career as sauber gave him his big break in sportscars ( Merc supplied engines) which brought him to attention of F1 in the first place. Plus doesnt Schumi live in Switzerland where sauber are based? I agree with those who reckon his performances were under par in the first two years of his comeback but I reckon he has raised his game significantly this year and regularly outclassed Rosberg He owes Merc nothing at all in my opinion as he risked his stellar reputation and put everything into his performances for them yet look at the DNFs and lost points due to technical failures etc beyond Schumis control. Sad that they repay his loyalty and efforts in this way. Ultimately, I reckon Merc pursued Hamilton as a brand enhancement and a bargaining chip to tip the Concorde agreement scales in their favour. l would love to see Schumi cruise past the works mercs next season as they fluff their lines yet again!

    2. Kay says:

      Last time a driver turned team owner didn’t work out at all.

      Prost > Prost GP?

  22. Sebee says:

    As for Nico, am I alone in thinking that guy seems invisible? Am I wrong here? Does anyone care? I barely see him mentioned, and outside of that China win – how much more low profile can he be?

    Isn’t it telling when Malldonado, Perez, and many others below Nico in the driver standings are getting more mind share and press?

    How long of a shot is it that Mercedes pay Nico off and keep Schumi? I mean what does Nico have left on the contract? 1 year, plus possible option for team to resign? Schumacher’s Mercedes branded annual merchandise sales would pay for off Nico for sure. 1% chance?

    1. Sebee says:

      Hey, I’m typing Nico Rosberg into Google, and I was certainly surprised by the second suggestion Google proposed for me. No, not surprised, make that shocked. I did not take up Google on that search suggestion. But may need to hire one of those web image firms to do some cleanup.

    2. Jez K says:

      Ironically I reckon they might have booted out Rosberg and teamed up Michael and Hamilton if Michael had signed his contract option earlier in the summer. Ultimately Merc are in the business of selling cars and the Schumi / Hamilton brands are very strong. As for Rosbergs brand – Nico who???

      1. Sebee says:

        You are spot on.

        1. Hamilton/Schumacher is a huge marketing team.
        2. Hamilton will easily score the points Nico scores.
        3. Hamilton is sentimental, and would love to team up with Schumi for a year.

        So Schumi either stays or may go to Sauber to say thank you to Peter and help him sell some sponsor space on the cars.

        I agree, who here wears a Nico jersey proudly to work on Friday? Where as Schumi or Hamilton jerseys are everywhere you turn.

      2. Sebee says:

        Not scientific, but went to ebay.de, typed in Nico Rosberg Mercedes and Michael Schumacher Mercedes. More listings for Schumi, but more importantly when you go to completed listings you can see way more Schumi stuff sold than Nico. And I would say 85% of the stuff sold with Nico in the title also had a Schumi item. Like signature of both, or cards with both, etc.

        I have no doubt that Schumi is huge in Germany and Nico barely compares on popularity, start tanking, marketability, etc.

        Not to talk down Nico, but maybe in this is why everyone is staying so quiet about Schumi. I simply love conspiracy threory chats!

      3. Sebee says:

        Jez,

        Black and white.

        Is Nico cut from the Schumi/Vettel cloth or the Neidfeld/Frenzen cloth? As in some success, but never quite able to reach that final step and claim the WDC? Nick and HH both very nice dudes by the way. Just not able to bring out the passion in F1 fans like the other two guys.

        It just came to me that if Vettel manages to take 3rd WDC this year, these guys will have 10 WDCs between them at this years RoC. Amazing.

      4. Jez K says:

        That’s why they call him baby Schumi. He is a class act. When you look at how he dominated last season it reminds me of when Schumacher was in the best car and in dominant form at Ferrari.
        It will be interesting to see the mood and body language of Brawn and Haug this weekend when they are questioned about Schumis future??

  23. chris says:

    Well it’s not totally accurate to say he has been sacked. He had no contract for 2013. He was clearly waiting to see if there was any glimmer of hope that the Mercedes would improve.
    He’s made 3 serious errors this year, but the team have made several. He would actually have a very respectable haul of points now without the reliability issues, but the press just look for the negatives. He had said several months ago that he would decide in October, so it’s not as if he extended that deadline or “dithered” ( like an old man ) as has been claimed.
    Frankly he’s better off out of there and if he can have one good year at Sauber and help them with sponsorship then why not.

  24. spandrell says:

    I agree with the fact that Schumacher was rather sacked than being a mutual agreement between Merc and him to depart. However I don’t think that it all boils down to one or two mistakes. If it were like that people like Maldonado, Grosjean or Senna would be long gone – and what about Hamilton Massa saga last year?. Although I am a huge Schumacher fan I realize that he is no loner at his peak BUT I do think that he is competitive enough to have a shot for race wins if given a proper car and Merc was never such a car. Going to Sauber would be interesting because I do feel that they really have agood car and also alot of potential and because there would be much less pressure maybe we could see the old dog shine again. Would be sad to see the best F1 driver almost thrown out of F1. If I were to bet I would say that there is a good change to see him in 2013 on the grid and if it goes well maybe even 2014. Wishful thinking> Schumi beating Hamilton in a Sauber next year (no offence to Hamilton great driver but Merc is a very poor car and it is hard to imagine it will all change next year)

    1. Pat M says:

      I don’t think it is fair to say that Mercedes was never a car capable of winning, it did win once, and was on the podium a couple times. And while I can admire his courage in returning to F1 after his retirement I think the most anyone has been willing to say about his comeback is that after three years he could at least match Nico’s performance – and Nico was never anyone that ever struck me as the next big thing in F1. I think I might prefer that Michael call it a day as driver – although no matter what he does nothing could ever be as embarassing as Nigel getting too plump to fit in the car…..

      1. spandrell says:

        Well, it is arguable that this years win is representative for Merc being a winning car. I can agree that they were far more competitive at the beginning of the season until Monaco(including), where if it were not for the penalty Schumi was standing a good chance to win. But otherwise, each year they have been very poor in developing and keeping pace. The win in China was mostly due to a good qualifying and then the others not getting right the tyres- if they were to race now there with the same conditions Merc wouldn’t stand a chance. In 2011 they were really bad, and in 2010 I agree, Rosberg was above Schu, but given the three year break and no tests it is not such a big surprise. Regarding Rosberg I think he is a good qualifier, in a way similar to Massa before the accident – very fast when the road ahead is free, when in traffic it is another story. also I would put my money on rosberg outqualifying Hamilton in the first races in 2013 until Ham gets accomodated. I still believe that given a proper car Schu can still cut it, maybe not as Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton (which are clearly top right now) but no less than Weber, Raikonen or Button, from which 2 have won races this year. Of course it is a little wishful thinking from my side in saying that Sauber (or even other teams) are an option, but I think there is still that flame in Schu that makes him believe he can still win – and that is what makes a driver (at any age) continue.

      2. nino says:

        It was the odd race. Likely the only carrier’s win for Rosberg.
        And Michael will never end up like Nigel. They are of two different leagues and should never be mentioned on the same sentence.

  25. Sliman Bouchareb says:

    Hi James,

    I from Germany and I just want to say that all these Headlines in the German Press are typically for the Relation between the Media and the Stars. In German if today you are the greatest, 2 days later can be the biggest looser. It was with Jögi Löw the case (Football) after loosing to Italy in the euro, and its now the case with Schumacher and there are more examples.

    There are also many people who are thinking that it was not the fault of Schumacher to deliver, but Mercedes should first deliver a winning car before condamning Schumacher for not reaching the goals. And if Schumacher was uncertain if he should continuing racing its surely related to the fact that mercedes never make a step up in the last 3 years (only 1 Win), so why should he stay there??

    My personal view is: he wasnt been sacked by Mercedes because he had the choise to signe the contract if he wanted. He and only him is in the situation to descide what to do. When Mercedes wanted an answer from him in August, he said he want to think about it and there will be no answer before October. So in my view its a luxury situation that each of us dream to have to decide what to do or not to do. And if he wants continuing racing I am sure he will get the opportunity to do it even if its not a top team.

    Even now 3 year later after his comeback no one consider that the man is just having fun and enjoy racing, and he is not competing specially for one more championship or one more win, because this will change nothing to his greatness or his records. You have to be very privileged to have a hobby like this.

    Sorry for my englich :-)

  26. ram says:

    Schumi deserves to retire in dignity …. the racer in him refuses to give up …but time does not wait for anyone .he had his highs and super highs ….time for him to ease in a mgmt role in Mercedes and probably look forward to becoming a team principal of Mercedes F1 once maybe Brawn retires…. that way he will still be around the action and share his rich experience with others …racing for the likes sauber may prolong his career for another but what good is it of besides blokcing a career of a promising racer …

  27. Andrea Sasseti says:

    If what Ross Brawn says is true (that the next phase in Mercedes’ development plans is going to last 2-3 years) then there was never going to be a place for a 43-year old if any top driver was willing to commit to the team.

    Even if michael didn’t make those 2-3 big blunders this year, both he and the team would have been kidding themselves if they had committed to each other for longer than a year.

    In that respect it was correct for Michael to hold out, even while understanding the risk of losing his seat alltogether (he knew about the negotiations with Hamilton, after all). A number of key people have been put in place in the team only this year so I can easily see the truth in Brawn’s assertion that a new, agressive phase is beginning. And for that to work, they’ll need a top driver who can see it through to the end.

    Perhaps a Webber-esque Old Man rolling contract would have been an option if Nico Rosberg had stepped up in a more convincing manner? Not that he’s done badly but one can make an argument that Michael has outperformed him this year: the early-season DNF’s weren’t really Michael’s fault and in the races they did both finish, Michael outperformed him. Rosberg’s been consistent but a little anonymous so I can see how Brawn would rather not rest all his ambitions on Nico’s shoulders.

    Oh and James, did you see the auto-motor-und-sport article claiming Perez was Mercedes’ plan B instead of Michael? Do you have any thoughts on that?

  28. Rafael says:

    It would best for Michael to just hang up his helmet permanently. At the end of the day, father time just caught up w/ him: both in terms of age and sporting mileage (he’s already peaked. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks). Despite what the critics (continue to) say, Michael Schumacher is still the most successful F1 driver and one of the greatest atheletes to go down in sports history.

    He could/should return to Ferrari and be an ambassador for them instead, since it was with them he defined an era and re-wrote the record books. But then again, it’s Fernando’s team now and Merc never truly was his (F1) team. So maybe it really is time for Michael to let F1 go completely (since he never really did since stopping end 2006).

    I always held the impression that his return in 2010 was more of him just having fun and satisfying left overs of his need for speed: if he won then great, if he didn’t it was still worth a try. I’m sure even Michael was wondering if he screwed himself over with the comeback, so the fact that he still went out there and stuck with it despite the difficulties – risking his legacy, life and all – deserves even more admiration and respect. He may have been “over the hill”, but there’s sure no doubting his heart and determination.

  29. M.Wishart says:

    Its kind of sad the way it turned out in the end, but life moves on and waits for no one.

    I am not a big Schumacher fan, but was happy to see him return for one last shot at the title, but unfortuntly for him it turned out to be for a team that was in transtion, and he just didnt have the time to wait and build up the team like he did at ferrari.

    Also he was no where near as good as he had been.

    The great Schumacher has now gone, there will be no fairy tale ending to this story for him. He is no longer the man he was and there will be no more 8th championship win to look forward too.

    At best if he does decide to continue would just be for the buzz of driving an F1 car.

    It is a sad ending for him, as he should never have gone in the first place as he never managed to get back to that same level again, but on that occison he was dump out of Ferrari and now for a second time is dump once again, no matter how good you where there is always someone else to take your place.

    All the best!

    1. Doobs says:

      The fat lady ain’t singing yet…

  30. Val from montreal says:

    Michael Schumacher wanted out of Mercedes a long time ago …. He is still the master shark of F1 drivers …. Nick Fry started the Hamilton negotiation back in december of 2011 … That is a fact … Schumacher was promised the moon when he signed with Merc in 09 , same way poor Lewis has been conned by Brawn !! Ross is the PT Barnum of team bosses , selling snake oil …. Willi Webber has sais this weekend that Michael was sold on the notion that Mercedes were going to fight for race wins in 2010 and fighting for the title in 2011 , in which that was never the reality at Brackley …. MSC is going some where else in 2013 ….

  31. ian says:

    “anything is possible” – clearly not!

  32. Mark A Ross says:

    Schumacher to Ferrari for a year while they wait for Vettel sounds a good idea!

  33. olivier says:

    James, I have the impression Schumacher is waiting for Ferrari’s decision on Massa? Hence his reluctance of re-signing with Mercedes GP.

    I can’t see Hulkenberg taking Massa’s seat. The Hulk is as experienced as Perez … .

  34. Elias says:

    I’ve been reading that Ferrari is considering Di Resta or Hulkenberg if they don’t re-sign Massa so that door is probably closed. That leaves Sauber as the only option. I’ve been a Schumacher fan since 93 but I don’t know if there’s a point for him to carry on. Perhaps he shouldn’t have stopped in the first place…

    p.s. If I were Schumacher I’d try and get an AUDI DTM or Le Mans seat. That would be a great way for him to get back at Merc for ruining his comeback by not giving him a car capable for at least one farewell victory and for dumping him the way they have.

    1. Chris says:

      Theres no chance of a seat at Force India then??

    2. HFEVO2 says:

      As Mercedes and Ferrari are not running works sports car teams, the only realistic option for LeMans would be Audi.

      Personally, I would love to see MS race at LeMans again but,really, with a wife and young family, hasn’t Michael taken enough risks in his career ?

      Better to hang up the helmet and try his hand at team management.

    3. Kay says:

      Since it’s coming to 2013, it may be a good idea to stop being a MSC fan and become another driver’s fan! :D Hamilton sounds like a good driver to start with.

      Just to coincide the two decade support…

  35. Tom Adams says:

    Kind of happens to all the older guys at the end unless they quit, like say DC did.
    Reminds me of JV in a way with BMW coming in and Kubica vying for his seat.
    I think Schumi could have a good punt with Sauber, they should have a great car next year too. Cant see him walking away without winning a race.

  36. newgen says:

    It’s pity that the finale of his career – supposedly and in due course – was shaped like this. Maybe he’s been living too much inside his past, when people could see that was too much prolonged and it’s very near to a not so handsome end. Wise man is those who knows when to leave in the peak of his life. Don’t know if his peak day still awaits him. But honestly, much of disgrace has been earned by himself.

  37. Vinoo says:

    well the stats dont lie..from last year schumi has outraced rosberg and this year he has outraced and out qualified rosberg.. he has spent 3 years building or helping build the team…granted he is no where the driver he once was..cause if he was he would be annihilating rosberg…but he still is better or as good as rosberg…so lets get it straight that his comeback hasnt been as embarrasing as the media now potrays it to be..

    I would honestly expect more from you this site in particular. I understand the other media outlets may have affiliations and naturally lean to one side or another..but not James..

    so while schumi may have been undecided whether to stay..he is only suffering now from oppurtunist media outlets dragging a legends name through the dirt..for now fault of his own..inspite of him performing to high standards..

    some one has to be brave and speak against the tide..

    1. grat says:

      Seven retirements (some of which Ross Brawn admitted were the team’s fault) in 14 races is too many.

      Particularly, Barcelona (which cost him Monaco), and Singapore (two years running), suggest that Michael Schumacher, while still a better racer than most people will ever be, is not the racer he was.

      I’d love to see him back on the podium in the next 6 races– but I’m rooting for Hamilton to win the title so he can show two fingers to Ron Dennis on the way out the door. ;)

  38. Pete_from Nepal says:

    Do I think Hamilton will do much better next year than Schumacher this year? I don’t think so (but I hope I have to eat my words for Lewis’ sake; and 2014 will be different i believe). Schumacher is currently a good driver who in the words of Brawn himself took the car as high as it could many races this year. And in Monaco he was spot on when he said that he would do well there a few days before the qualitifying — all this to say that Schumie still had it in him (although the mistakes were costly no doubt). Sad to see the legend go. I hope he continues with Sauber for one more year, and beats Mercedes in the process, but I doubt Schumy will take such a big paycut…

  39. The Radical says:

    He didn’t announce his retirement prior to Hamilton’s unveiling as many predicted, leading to the conclusion that Schumacher wants to continue next season, it’s a simple matter of finding a team worthy of his services.

    Here’s my take on his outlook – http://real-motorsport.com/2012/09/30/what-next-for-schumi/

    1. db4tim says:

      Who can afford him…he is too pricey.

      1. Wild Man says:

        He will bring some sponsorship with him to help lubricate things.

  40. Bionor says:

    I’m undecided of what I think he should do.

    He’s a hero, for sure, but…

    1. Kay says:

      Don’t worry, whatever you think he should do, he won’t take into account. So it’s not an issue. :D

      1. Bionor says:

        I kind of expected a reply like this :)

  41. Peter says:

    I think there is no reason to quit now, he should go to Sauber or Ferrari and get onto the podium and retire in a nice way. He has made some errors, but have had some great performance in Canada, Monaco etc., too. I think some of the errors come with lack of motivation and therefore lack of focus when fighting for 5-10 places.

  42. Will Wu says:

    Schumacher hesitated to re-sign with Mercedes. So may be with where Mercedes is going, he doesn’t believe they are in position to be challenging the front runners. Why would he hesitate if he sees the light at the end of the tunnel with Mercedes’ new racer development already?

  43. kent says:

    it is sad indeed. perhaps the best of all time, but robbed of his gifts by age- time waits for no one, especially athletes.

  44. Darren says:

    I really hope he goes to Sauber, they have a quick car and he’ll do well there. I need my Schumacher fix next season!

  45. Will says:

    James,

    Do you think that Schumacher will end up back at Ferrari? I recall hearing Fernando talking about how a driver to replace Massa would have to have better credentials than him. Do you think that he and Alonso could end up in the same team? Plus with Luca DiM, he passed on Perez because he didn’t have enough experience. The silly season is fun isn’t it?

  46. Rich C says:

    Somehow all this talk about him being an ‘ambassador’ doesn’t seem realistic.

    The man’s an all-out *racer even if he’s ‘lost a step’ and I can’t see him submitting to life as some kind of show pony to be trotted out for sponsors and PR events.

  47. Die Scuderia says:

    It’s trully sad how German newspapers kick MSc below the belt under given conditions, considering how much joy he had offered to his country over the years. It is rather sad.

    DS

    1. Rick says:

      What’s sad is that his return has been such an incredible disappointment. For his fans, for his team and for the Mercedes board. He should never have come back talking about an eighth WDC! One podium in almost three seasons… And now out on his ear. What a way to end his career.

      1. madmax says:

        He only talked about an eight title because Brawn and co. promised him a race winning car in year one of the comeback and a championship winning car in year 2.

        3 years later all his car does is eat tyres and break down and Merc is in danger of slipping to 6th best team.

    2. gudien says:

      Yes it is quite disappointing. Then again Michael did move to Switzerland many years ago to avoid paying German taxes.

      1. nino says:

        And rightly so!
        Who are these states who want millions of taxes per year from one individual, on order to maintain thousands of lazy state workers.

    3. Quattro_T says:

      While I cannot say I have any sympathies with SCH as a driver, you have to remember that after all the “poor” media need to sell papers…with something on it.

  48. Siva says:

    I feel Schumi still decides his own destiny and definitely has a Plan B which he is not revealing yet. Who knows, if he is going to race for Ferrari for a year and take a gracious exit?

  49. Dmitry says:

    Hmm, why doesn’t anyone think Michael decided to leave\retire by himself? I simply refuse to believe Michael was “shown the door”.

    I am almost sure Ross Brawn talked to him more than once during this season and the agreement was mutual.
    Perhaps all this situation started with XIX entertainment contacting Mercedes regarding a possible switch for Lewis. When Mercedes\Ross got this information they had a talk (or numerous) with Michael, who indicated (and possibly even encouraged) Ross to sign up Lewis, because he (Michael) had other\no plans in F1.

    I think if Michael won’t reveal the truth himself we’ll never know the full story.

  50. ANTONIS PAPADAKIS says:

    I have said it before… one more time in red please

  51. David Newsome says:

    Fascinating reading, James. Thanks for compiling and discussing this otherwise inaccessible material.

  52. Tristan Bayless says:

    James,

    Have you heard anything credible towards the theory Schumacher might buy a controlling stake in Sauber?

    Thank you

  53. Twisted says:

    Doesn’t matter, MSC was reason for watching this sport for 20 years. One life one love!

  54. Steve JR says:

    Poor old Schumi and maybe poor old Massa if he manages to persuade Montezemolo that the whole 3 year thing at Mercedes was just a bad dream and that in actual fact, his loyalties were really with the italian marque the whole time

  55. Sebee says:

    First Mercedes. Now talk of Sauber.

    I’m beginning to think this Schumacher return was just payback for that early support Schumi got from Mercedes and Sauber. Schumi is an honourable man it seems. First he stood behind Massa at Ferrari, now he’s paid off Merceds for their support, and only Peter is left on the list.

  56. Dave Cooper says:

    How the mighty have fallen. No room for sentiment in F1. If the racing bug can still overcome his embarrassment, then maybe he could find a home in another team. But if he can’t make up his mind whether to retire or not, it suggests he’s no longer fully committed to F1. In that case, it’s time to go. Bye bye, and thanks for the memories.

    1. madmax says:

      How about just maybe he wasn’t committed to an incompetent team called Mercedes who promised him the world 3 years ago rather like Hamilton now but proceeded to give him a slow tyre hungry car that breaks down all the time.

  57. Blade Runner says:

    A return to Ferrari for a couple of seasons would be my favorite outcome for Michael. He may not have his razor sharp driving skills anymore but I am convinced he would score far heavier than Felipe Massa who I am very sad to say has not been the same since his terrible accident. Like Sterling Moss and Ralph Schumacher there is no shame in calling it a day after such events.

    A second coming of MSC at Ferrari would be the perfect ending to this great drivers career. Just fading away after being basically sacked by Merc is no way to go.

    1. Rob says:

      “Like Sterling Moss and Ralph Schumacher”

      No one has ever used this phrase before… ever.

      1. James Allen says:

        Or spelled it like that…

      2. moxlox says:

        That’s the funniest thing I’ve read today! :) Made me smile, thanks!

      3. Kay says:

        Be thankful he didn’t say Buttfocker instead of Schumacher.

  58. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Bild cannot say Schumacher is “the greatest racer of all time.”

    Maybe is Fangio, Prost, Senna, Lauda…

    Schumi can go home safely and his fans will just remember the 7 championships and not this comeback.

    Going to Sauber is pretty embarrasing for everybody, I don’t like to see him outpaced by the teamate or clashing like in Singapore, or being replaced in the middle of the 2013 seadon. Gonzalez can try it.

    1. nino says:

      I would go to Sauber.
      I would not be embarrassed.

  59. Anton says:

    I think the Hamilton contract was already on the table before the Singapore GP so, no, Schumacher’s accident at the Singapore GP was not trigger for the Hamilton move.

  60. mj says:

    Schumi is in a tough spot. Personally, I think, like many others, he couldn’t realistically see Lewis leaving Mclaren, hence he took his time on making a decision. I can understand that, since he must have been torn between staying with Merc and taking the risk that he would be trundling around in the mid field for the next 3 years.Merc really have given no indication that they will be any better in the next 2 seasons. Other choice was to retire unsatisfied, with a fire still burning in his belly. I think Michael has unfinished business for some race wins. His form has been pretty good this season. However, unless he goes to Ferrari or williams, his chances of wining with Sauber are perhaps not much better than those he has now with Merc. If Schumi can’t get a 2 year deal with say Williams or Lotus, forget it and bow out. Sauber are good, but not good enough. As for his mistakes, well he made some pretty big goofs like that even when he drove for Ferrari.I dont think the incident last weekend made any difference to Merc. Even without the mistakes, Merc would have chosen Lewis over Michael anyway, since he has 2 season left at the most before retirement.

  61. Ed Bone says:

    For Schumi fans I can understand the dismay, but the fact he was a match for Rosberg, speed-wise at least, was quite remarkable, and something to admire, given the huge difference in age. But at some point, you have admit your time is up, make way for the young guns, and hang up the helmet. If he does continue in F1, it is very difficult to see him doing anything other than fading away, a sad reflection of his former self.

    But good luck to him.

  62. Salman Bahadur says:

    Micheal deserves a lot more respect please. It’s clear that Micheal wanted to quit as he never interfered in Hamilton negotiations with Mercedes. He has done something which was not tried in modern F1 by returning to the sport at an age of 40. I’m proud of him.
    Lastly I don’t want to go deep into it but is it a case where he has been betrayed by Ross? Any comment James . . . .

    1. James Clayton says:

      Salman. In the first case you say it’s ‘clear’ that Michael wanted to quit. If this is the case then how can it possibly be a case of being ‘betrayed’ by Ross??

      1. Salman Bahadur says:

        Actually I mentioned two separate events. So that’s why. But I guess we ll have to wait a bit longer to know the reality.

  63. David H says:

    Will be a sad end to a great career. Doubly sad sacked by two teams now. It is time and it was time when he left the first time.
    The greatest driver of his era, its now a new era.

    1. joep01 says:

      Hardly a sad end to a great career, and Schumacher’s desire to continue even when he was not winning GP’s shows a true love of motorsport, and not just money, fame or adulation. Mad respect for der Kaiser! Oh wait, that would be Jan Ullrich.

  64. joshua says:

    Fingers crossed he gets a seat! I think the only reason they haven’t given him a large public send off is because him is and maybe was already serious of moving teams.

    He has shown he is as good as nico, granted a few racing errors this season but not to the same degree as maldonado, grosean or even Hamoilton last year.

    It would be great for him to have one year. Personally, I think a year with Williams would be very exciting, along side maldonado would be great pairing! The car has been competitive this year and I think shui would do well. Would get a better idea of how quick maldonado is as clearly senna is not a reference!….this season has been great and if all wdc are in competitive cars it will be amazing. Just hope merc give Lewis the car he needs!

    James…..I love this site and have signed up to Twitter just to get notifications of these updates, keep um coming!

  65. Tim Scarratt says:

    I’ve no idea how successful he could be in making the transition, but there’s something tremendously exciting about the idea of Team Schumacher lining up on the F1 grid a season or two from now.

  66. Robert Gunning says:

    Is there a distinct possibility in Schumacher joining Sauber next year; or would they not be able to afford his wages? It would be quite ironic, considering how he told Peter Sauber he did not want to drive for his F1 team in the early 1990s.

  67. renato nysan says:

    All those countless destroyed frontwings although helped the decision I reckon.

    1. Doors says:

      So they got Hamilton…yeah right.

  68. Thompson says:

    He should have gone when he had the option , before he was pushed. I have said he imo was the bug in the Mercedes cream and believe tailoring the car to him is what has been holding the team back.

    had the developement of the car been aimed towards Rosberg the results I believe would have been different, all be it with Rosberg being more of a contender. As we saw at the start of this venture and when the car has been right for him.

    Schmacher had his time and I have no love for him or his records I see them as tainted. He should go now.
    Like I said the other day, you wake up one morning and you are an old man….last Friday was that day for Schumacher.

    1. madmax says:

      Ya like the way tailoring a Ferrari to his liking was a massive mistake??

      Rosberg has said countless times his and Schumacher’s preferences in the car were very similar and that is one of the reasons he felt they were ideal team mates.

  69. Davexxx says:

    Just one minor point, which irritates me: I keep reading that “…so Mercedes lost patience and approached Hamilton”. It was THE OTHER WAY ROUND according to Brawn (who I have a lot of time for and, I believe, doesn’t lie). It was Hamilton’s management who approached Mercedes to allow this change to happen. OK I’m sure they had approached Hamilton previously, however on this occasion Hamilton came to them at just the right time, and I think Brawn must be smiling at the wonderful opportunity!

  70. Andrew Carter says:

    Given that Michael has gone from disappointing to solid with occasional flashes of his old form, along with a string of clumsy moves in wheel to wheel action, can anybody really be surprised that Mercedes instead went after and signed the man that is arguably the fastest in F1?

    I suspect that if he stays in F1 it would have to be with Sauber (Lotus already have two drivers better than him, I can’t see Williams forking out the money for him or even wanting him and he’s one of the few people that really wouldn’t be an improvement over Massa for Ferrari). Frankly, I see him going to the DTM, and ironically it’s most likely his brother’s seat that he’d take.

    1. F1Ray says:

      Don’t see that happening, Andrew. Was stated a while back that Michael advised Ralf not to go to DTM, believing that ex F1 drivers, rarely make a successful transition, so I doubt he would entertain it himself.

  71. Irish con says:

    I’m a big Michael fan but let’s face it. He isn’t half the driver he used to be. In his pomp Michael would of totally destroyed rosberg and could drive any car any way he wanted. I think Michael should take up a job with merc on the board and retire as the legend that he is. I would love Michael to win at susuka this weekend and he would definitly retire in my opinion. 91 race wins and 7 world titles will never be beaten in my opinion. Il say it again retire Michael u don’t have to prove anything to me.

    1. Doors says:

      Even at 90% MS Is faster than most of the pups.

  72. Eric Weinraub says:

    What I am interested in is if Michael EVER speaks to Ross again after the season is over. What I’d like to read from Michael is… the car NEVER met our expectations and this car is the WORST car, even surpassing the F310 in terms of uncompetiveness. Lap times don’t lie…That said, I think its time to call it a day in this formulae.

    1. F1Ray says:

      Eric, Brawn is talking the talk, as required, on this Hamilton move, but I wonder what his real thoughts on the matter are. I would think he will have discussed this with Schumacher, and cleared the air. It’s only two weeks ago that Brawn was saying how important it was to have Schumacher in the team, come the 2014 changes. That statement makes Brawn look a little silly now, but at the end of the day, he’s had to go with his bosses.

  73. Why would any frontline team want him? when he is crashing into the back of other cars? No way will Ferrari want him after he gave up his ambassadors job in 2010 to be seen to be defecting to one of their biggest rivals, as we have seen over the past 3 years he has been overtaken on the track by almost all of the new young guns, he could only shine when he was in complete control of the team [Ferrari] with a subordinate team mate, contractually obliged to let him win.

    1. mike says:

      I recall Mark Webber saying that it was unbelievable to overtake Michael in the Melbourne GP a few years ago. Now, its a given that Michael is battling in the mid-field and crashing into ppl. He would be worth more if he hadn’t come back.

      1. Doobs says:

        I don’t think Merc qualify as biggest rivals for Ferrari.
        LdM said no hard feelings at the time as he had his man Alonso by then.

        The difference was Ferrari built him a reasonable car

  74. zombie says:

    I hope he moves to Sauber or retires. I see a lot of posters here suggesting he should move to Ferrari. Ferrari was his family for nearly 13 years, but he moved out of it, and has moved on. Alonso is the “man of the house” now, and there’s no ways Schumacher will feel as comfortable as he once was sharing pasta and gelato with mechanics.

    He may no longer have the same edge as Alonso,LH,Vettel or even Button, but his racecraft,experience, leadership qualities and workoholism would make him an asset for a team like Sauber. At Sauber, he has the opportunity to build a dedicated team around himself for the next 2 years. They wont win titles, but atleast he can retire on a high, on his terms, and doing what he has done most of his life – taking machines to their limits, and himself beyond his.

    1. Dean Cassady says:

      No. Wrong.
      At this point, he needs to go to a team ready to go, or go home!
      In case you don;t know who that it, Sauber is not there.

  75. ferggsa says:

    James, sorry to bother, some time ago you mentioned a pretty good site with F1 stats but lost the link
    Regarding Schumi, all good things come to an end sometime. If he leaves now he will be the heroe betrayed by the teams he helped, if he gets another season in a midfield team with poor results, he might be remebered by the younger fans as the stubborn “old” guy who does not know when to quit
    Of course, if he does get a seat, who can blame him for racing

    1. James Allen says:

      gpuide.com

      They are producing a mobile app, I believe

      1. Nil says:

        Is there a site where we can get lap by lap time splits by driver for several seasons? I couldn’t find this on gpguide.com.

      2. ferggsa says:

        Thanks a lot

  76. Rich B says:

    mercedes chose lewis because schumacher couldn’t decide, absolute rubbish!! they chose lewis because he’s a much better driver

    1. Doobs says:

      much younger driver..

      1. Kay says:

        Young don’t mean better.

        Chucks Peec, etc..

        I don’t see Ross / Merc interested in them due to their age.

  77. mj says:

    I think people are deluded if the think Merc sacked Michael. Personally I think Schumi decided not to resign until october, because he was waiting to see Mercs direction and progress. I don’t think Michael wants to spend another 2 years wasting his time in a merc which is not going to be a front contender. I suspect Lewis was coming anyway, and has michael resigned, then Nico would have gone to Mclaren. Ferrari or Williams are his only option. Sauber are good, but not good enough for Schumi to spend a season or two with. If he can’t get Scuderia or Williams, walk away.

  78. Ian H says:

    do you reckon it’s F1 racing or nothing for Schumacher or if Mercedes offered him a DTM drive would he take it

  79. AlexD says:

    If he is smart, he will do what he should have done 3 years ago – stay home and take care of his family.

    If 3 years with Mercedes did not make him any wiser, than he will possible replace Muppet for 1 year in Ferrari or even worse, will destroy his name completely by racing alongside Yoshimitsu in a Sauber.

    1. Kay says:

      +1

      Though don’t take the mickey out of Asian names please.

  80. Dave says:

    He still has it obviously, Alonso said if Schumacher drove for Sauber he would at least win 3 races already. Much i wanted him back to Ferrari but i think the chance is small.

  81. joep01 says:

    more proof that “the media” = a fickle, fanciful, hypocritical bunch – almost as bad as many anonymous internet forum posters (or those writing under pseudonyms). Who are we to criticize Schumacher if he wants to continue driving for a team like Sauber, and who is Die Welt to suggest how Schumacher end his career? The conceit is amazing. The guy will do what he thinks is in his best interests and will be most satisfying to him professionally and personally. Full stop?

    1. Robb says:

      “anonymous internet forum posters”?
      I prefer to think of us as “Guys sitting at keyboards in our underwear”.
      I think it better illustrates how important we are.

  82. Ivan says:

    I think Ferrari should be Schumi’s only option! Both (he and the team) are natural winners and share the same passion for racing. Besides, Schumi brought the greatness to Ferrari after a long period so in a way they owe him.
    My guess: Massa goes to Sauber, Schumi returns to Ferrari
    If that happens I will definitely go to see him ‘live’ once again.

    1. Truth or Lies says:

      Strange as it seems that might just be the way this shakes down. I could see Ferrari bringing Schumacher back for a final season and to tie him into a long term association with his ‘racing” home. Is would be a nice rebuke to Mercedes who have clearly severed their ties with the driver. Ferrari and Schumacher are still closely linked in many people’s eyes and his prestige value to the marque very attractive.

      It also gets over the Massa problem for Ferrari, who would probably slot into Sauber. Where to be honest he could prove himself away from the over bearing influence of Alonso. I am sure both Schumacher and Alonso as future long term Ferrari employees would work well together for the teams benefit. The only problems would be on weekends when Michael was truly faster than FA, but then again it would probably be only for one season.

    2. Kay says:

      Why is it everyone seem to fail in reading stuff here?

      Massa already said, if he gets pushed out of Ferrari, he will NOT drive for another team just to rack up the numbers.

  83. mark says:

    Not a fan of Michael but all the respect with his skills and what he has achieved.

    Maybe he was wondering if Mercedes can really produce a winning car???

    Was hoping that he would have taken Lewis’ seat at Mclaren then show that he still has it!

    I still think given the right car,MS will still fly!

  84. Bjorn says:

    James, help us! Shed some light in this!

  85. Simon says:

    There is as much chance of Schumi driving for Ferrari next season as seeing Alonso driving for HRT. It simply is not going to happen.

    1. Doobs says:

      Why not? Schumi would make a good No.2! Better than Massa….

      1. Simon says:

        I cannot see Michael accepting to play second fiddle in any team (unlike Felipe) and I cannot see Ferrari accepting Michael back. They are the only leading team that can build their whole campaign around their lead driver – all of the other lead teams have to play the driver parity card.

  86. Truth or Lies says:

    Michael Schumacher will have the last laugh here, Mercedes can’t win, won’t win and that’s about the size of it.

    The new exhausts which they tested at Magny Cours last month were supposed to be a big step forward. MS even went to spectate at the test and then in Singapore, nothing. Ross Brawn says it will take another 2-3 years to build a winning team, that’s just nonsense. A serious racing team with appropriate budget and resources should be winning by now (3 yrs in), these are clearly not serious people.

    If MS believed Mercedes were in a position to win soon he’d have signed in August. Ross Brawn had a great reputation leaving Ferrari and a fairy tale year in 09 with his own team, but right now his stock is low. Lewis Hamilton has made a great judgement of error, I will be truly surprised if Mercedes wins consistently in F1 – ever.

    1. Kay says:

      The Merc team is just flawed… it still has DNAs from Honda / BAR days… when has the team wearing Honda / BAR t-shirts won anything? The same people are now silver branded with a Merc and Petronas logo tees, that’s all.

      So yer, I concur with you and Merc can’t win.

  87. F458 says:

    The guy loves racing, who can blame him for wanting to carry on and do what he loves?

  88. Matt W says:

    Surely Schumacher to Ferrari in a support role to Nando for one year, with the reward of a win or two to end things on a high.

    Just hope if he does sign for Ferrari the moronic press (not speaking of you here James!) don’t start suggesting he will win the title. That won’t be allowed to happen.

  89. nusratholla says:

    Mclaren should’ve snapped up Schuey, but since they didn’t do so, I think Schuey should continue racing in F1, he is Overlord of Formula one, there is no questions there, yes he is being hampered by his age but there is no shortage of determination.

    Lotus and then Sauber, they should snap him up.

    Lotus already has a powerbrand in Kimi and with Schuey coming in it would move the Lotus brand to unbelievable proportions at least at par with Mclaren.

    It’ll hurt every single Formula one fanatic to see a person of Schuey’s stature going to Sauber.

    Its best he doesn’t go to Ferrari for even though he one of the quickest pair of hands in F1 he is hampered by his age is not been able to deliver what he was capable of in his prime, added to that Alonso will not want Ferrari’s focus shifted from him.

    So, best option is Lotus for both Schumacher and for Lotus.

    Lets not lose him for Formula one will be a poorer sport without him.

    1. Kay says:

      “It’ll hurt every single Formula one fanatic to see a person of Schuey’s stature going to Sauber.”

      I agree.

      It’s like pushing a legend to some mediocre team (with all due respect to Sauber).

      If people are talking about MSC to Sauber, why not go even further and suggest MSC to HRT or something……. crazy people.

  90. Bruno says:

    He is still capable of winning the championship. First year was rusty,last more or less but this year he was good. Qualifying much better then before. Just remember Alonso in 08 and 09. Where was he, but now he drives competitive ferrari and no one remember those two years of nothing. After just one win everybody will forget Singapore. So one last year in ferrari would be epic.

  91. Anop says:

    James, do you think Ferrari will consider Michael to replace Felipe?

    Fernando has a say in things at Ferrari but is he so strong that the team won’t hire a driver if he says so?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, I don’t think so, it’s not what I’m hearing from Italy

  92. Steven says:

    Personally, I’d say he should go to GP2. Most people will consider me crazy, but take a look at it from this side:

    - GP2 is serious stuff. These cars are fast and very much alike F1. It’s not the same, but the difference is not HUGE. He could still get his fun from it.
    - Ex-F1 drivers would bring lot’s of publicity to the GP2 class, which GP2 deserves IMHO.
    - Many young GP2 drivers could learn a LOT from experienced F1 drivers alongside of them.

    Win win win for me.

    1. Kay says:

      I think he should just take his FXX out for spins and stay out of professional racing.

  93. Dean Cassady says:

    I think the worst thing for Schumacher, the thing he has the most difficulty now understanding, is that he is NOT the guy in the spot light, around which everything else follows, in Formula One.
    The Mercedes-Schumacher collaboration is not much short of a disaster, for both parties, but none more than Nico Rosberg. Completely derailed is a succinct evaluation of the effect of getting to partner Schumacher at Mercedes.
    For Schumacher, the winningest driver of F1 history? To quote a Canadian film maker’s protagonist, “it would be best if you just left now.”
    Does he really want to be relegated to a drive at Sauber? Would he really want to ‘fill-in’ a year at ALONSO’S FERRARI TEAM?
    That would be pathetic and humiliating, at best, internally destructive at worst.
    Red Bull? Ain’t gonna happen.
    Lotus? Very doubtful.
    Best luck to Schumacher.

  94. bdog says:

    “Funny How Life Goes” Since 94′ All I wanted him do is be in a situation like he is in now. But know I am hoping that he can win a a race again in F1. I think he should replace Massa next year. I bet it would sell more Ferrari’s next year!!!

    1. For Sure says:

      Wow that’s was very strong man.

  95. quite frankly i am glad that shumi has gone. i am tired of him. he has had his days in the sun. what i want to see is some of the exciting new young talent being given the opportunities to showcase their talents.

    he is an extremely wealthy guy so he doesn’t need the money and he surely has other opportunities to continue driving in if he so desires. let us now proceed shumacherless into the future.

    1. Kay says:

      Whoa..
      I don’t particularly like MSC, but I’d be happy to see him stay. Age don’t concern me (I’m 29 here), and I’d be very happy if Barrichello also managed to stay too! Old don’t necessarily mean getting in the way of others, these guys are still good racers. Unlike others like DC, Wurz, who were pretty mediocre. Those I’m happy to see them go, but not MSC / Barrichello.

  96. Qiang says:

    Hi James,
    As someone know Michael well, do you think Michael is waiting for the elusive race win before making any decision? I have hoping to see that this season, and I think it’s still possible.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well a decision has been made for him; he’s not racing Mercedes next year and there isn’t another top seat available it seems

      So it’s a Sauber level drive or stop again, from the look of it

      1. Kyle says:

        Why don’t you think he would go to Ferrari? Its what I think the Formula 1 community at large would like I think. Ferrari owe Schumacher I reckon. He wouldn’t do worse than massa, and losing to Alonso these days is not a bad thing at all. I don’t see what he either team or driver have to lose. One last love affair, until ironically vettel takes his place in 2014? Surely picture perfect!?

      2. Kay says:

        Not being rude, but James already answered that several times, try reading thru the posts and comments above :D

      3. Paul says:

        Hi James. A couple of questions I wondered if you have any thoughts on.

        Did L. Hamilton have the option of staying for one more year only at McLaren? Im just curious because of all the talk about the engine changes for 2014? Presumably one would expect that McLaren would have a faster car next season, but maybe not the season after.

        Which leads me to my next question…..how does the situation regarding the engine changes affect Mercedes prospects?

        And why the hell would Mercedes keep Rosberg over Schumacher!?

      4. Kay says:

        Maybe McLaren wasn’t offering one year?

        Say you’re a contract employee and it’s time for renewal for 3 years which is the norm. You’re looking for change and your family wonder why you don’t stay for one more year at current company.

        Again, maybe your employers don’t offer one year?

      5. Val from montreal says:

        How are you sure only Sauber want him and not Ferrari and/or Lotus ? When he got 3rd in Valencia, dont you think Montezemelo thought to himself : ” if only he was with us again , we would have 2 drivers consistantly on the podium instead of just 1 ” ……. Wasnt Montezemelo ‘s philosophy that Ferrari is about 200% drivers and not only 100% ?? He did want Mika on 2001 alongside Schumacher , so why not have Alonso alongside Schumacher now ?

      6. Schauber is the go says:

        that’s OK – I don’t think the Sauber is any worse than the Merc. In fact, it’s probably better in a couple of important ways – particularly rear tyre management, and reliability. Go to Sauber and beat Hamilton in the Merc – I’ll cheer for that!

      7. Kay says:

        Actually that’s funny.

        In terms of history, respect from around the world, fame, etc… Merc is above Sauber.

        In terms of performance on track though, Merc is getting quite a kicking from Sauber this year.

      8. nino says:

        So, you know who will replace Massa….
        ;)

  97. IP says:

    I think it’s a shame he retired in 06… He could have bought himself a team, built it up (possibly stolen ross brawn) and driven as well and might just have become world champ in his own car. It’s about the only record nobody is likely to challenge… that or be world motorcycle champion!

      1. Kay says:

        You don’t happen to be the same Angelina from Crash, do you ?

    1. Morten says:

      Motorcycle champion and F1 champion, I could be mistaken but isn’t that Damon Hill’s record(?).

      1. Peter C says:

        Don’t forget John Surtees.

        Who? I hear you ask.

      2. IP says:

        John Surtees actually…. Valentino could have crossed over and been champ too… i genuinely believe that

      3. zombie says:

        Damon Hill never rode motorcycles let alone be a champ. Sir John Surtees most cetainly did, then again, some say Surtees was bionic and not human..

        The legendary aussie, Mick Doohan was a good driver too. After his stellar career taming those evil Honda NSR 500s, he moved on to touring cars, and was pretty decent until he decided to quit racing all together.

      4. James Allen says:

        He certainly did ride motor bikes to start with. But he wasn’t an international champ

      5. harv says:

        I think you are referring to Wayne Gardner, not Mick Doohan.

    2. Kay says:

      Last time that happened, it didn’t end too well and that was Prost.

    3. Kay says:

      Or Aguri for that matter.

      1. IP says:

        yeah but imagine the backing and ppl schumi could’ve pulled in. everyone would want to be in it

      2. Kay says:

        Yes, of course Sch can receive numerous backings and attract people to his team. I have absolutely no doubt about that.

        However though, knowing history very well, wouldn’t it add even more pain to seeing MSC screw up again? Being a good driver does not necessarily mean a good manager. It’s like if you ask LdM to have a hands-on role in the F1 team, the team would probably fail. His job is to hire the best people to do the best job for him and Ferrari, but not applying his own skills into running the F1 stable.

        (not saying MSC’s second retirement is his fault, see here “http://www.crash.net/f1/news/184643/1/schumacher_retires_for_second_time.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss”)

  98. JB HAM says:

    Schumacher will be confirmed for Sauber 2013 drive on Friday. Rumours floating around in Switzerland.

  99. ttwan says:

    Bit disappointed with how Brawn manage this matter. He should had managed it better without giving the world feel that Michael was sacked. I think Ferrari did it very well when they hire Kimi. Despite all the clumsiness driving from Michael, I believe he contributed significantly in the development of the team and car. All the best to Michael!

    1. Kay says:

      I reckon it was out of Brawn’s hands on MSC. Having been through thick and thin with the two of them together for 10 years, I don’t think Brawn would do such thing to MSC if he had any say.

      I recall seeing in the news when Merc bought Brawn GP that the Merc board stated the team must win within 3 years, or else they’d pull the plug. There were also reports saying Merc were not pleased with the amount of salary that MSC receives. So obviously the board was nothing but pleased to see MSC gets the boot as soon as the contract has expired.

      Just see the way how they pushed Nick Fry aside at the birth of Merc GP. Where’s that guy now? I don’t see his name appear anymore. So it’s not surprising to see MSC pushed out by the Merc board, rather than Brawn himself.

  100. assad says:

    I believe schumacher will get a sauber contract for two years, after that it will be a management role for him. Possible COO…..

    He will be a great asset for the small team, bringing in much needed cash to slap on the car….

    1. DK says:

      So he will be a pay driver in Sauber then.

      1. zombie says:

        Almost every driver on the grid is a pay driver today, including Alonso,Hamilton and Vettel.

      2. zombie says:

        ..as in they do attract sponsors. And hence signing someone like LH has marketing advantages to the teams compared to signing someone who is not so marketable. So they add to the bottom lines of the teams which makes most of them “pay drivers”, no ?

      3. timW says:

        No! Alonso attracts sponsorship because the companies know they will get exposure for their brand when he wins. That’s not the same as a pay driver giving a team money directly in exchange for a drive. Alonso and Hamilton draw a (huge) salary from theior respective teams, sure the teams think they can make this money back in prize money and increased sponsorship etc, but it is in no way similar to selling a seat in the way HRT and Williams do.

      4. Kay says:

        AHHaHaHhaHahAHhAHAHAH I LOVE James’s “What?”

  101. Schumacher to Ferrari – Massa to Sauber

    Too easy

    1. Doobs says:

      Right on, brother!

    2. Kay says:

      Easily said, yer.

      Narain to Williams then.

  102. JB says:

    It is disappointing to see Mercedes never provided the car to let Michael win. Moreover, there has been a lot of screw ups from Merc since his comeback. Not to mention lots of severely unreasonable penalties.

    From the sound of it, Sauber is the best option available. I think since he made the decision to drive from Merc, he can not return to Ferrari anymore. I hope it won’t be like Barachello’s situation.

    I’ll wait for the good news (if any).

  103. Elie says:

    I can just see him crashing Saubers next year given half a chance. Heaven help us & him – just bloody retire.

    1. Wehha says:

      Are you talking about hamilton or maldanado?

      1. Kay says:

        Grosjean.

  104. It would be lovely to think Schumacher could race on forever. But we must be realistic. The last hero of our time was Senna, whose career was ended without his choice. It is hard to say goodbye to Schumie’s career too, but I think we must be realistic, and so must he.

  105. khuzai says:

    I bet in MSC’s head now he’s thinking his only option if he decided to drive in ’13 would be Sauber – it’s the only spot where he could get an odd-numbered car!

    I’d love to see the “Schauber” materialise – the car has improved drastically and is good on the tyres.

  106. Craig in Manila says:

    I reckon he should do a year with Sauber just for the fun of it.

    There would be no serious expectation re podiums, Sauber could pick-up some added sponsorship, and it would also be a money-spinner for circuits as they could promote each race as “the final lap” and pull-in some increased crowds etc.

    1. F1addicted says:

      No one cares about Schumacher anymore if he is not winning.

      1. zombie says:

        @F1addicted : In states side, asia or the middle-east, there isn’t an F1 driver past or present who is as popular as Schumacher is. So yes, there are many who care about Schumacher, and would love to see him continue to race.

  107. nino says:

    Is very unlikely that MS will go to DTM.
    He once stated that he is uncomfortable driving a car he cannot see the wheels.
    He need to see the wheels as you do on an F1 or a go kart.
    He said that!

    1. Kay says:

      Fine fine.. he said that, calm jeez! He needs wheels to be seen?
      I’m sure one of the DTM teams wouldn’t mind slapping a spare wheel on the bonnet just for MSC to see, just like those 4×4 offroaders.

  108. F1addicted says:

    Schu has a seat ready at sauber but he wants to drive for Ferrari. Ferrari are tempted but are taking time to decide. Vettel will never go to Ferrari while Alonso is there because Ferrari don’t want him and in any case it would be bad for him because he isn’t half the driver Alonso is on a bad day

  109. Señor Sjon says:

    Not all German press is like that, a bit of selective quoting I reckon.

    The history as I see it.
    I heard that Schumacher wanted a 1+1 contract so he could choose to race the 2014 spec cars. Mercedes wanted a 1 year deal. When they asked him, it was quite unsure if and how Mercedes would continue in F1. There was a risk when Schuamcher signed, he got a cash strapped AMG team in stead of Mercedes. Schumacher was a bit downish in Singapore, so he knew allready he was on the way out. They just couldn’t sack him when he was finishing in front of Rosberg all the time.

    It is very odd to have such an unreliable car these days. He really was on the wrong end of the garage with those car failures, especially when in a good scoring position. Hamilton gambles he has the right car? If he gets to be WDC, he has an odd number… and odd numbered Mercedes cars are known to are prone to failures. ;)

    What about Ross Brawn? The media is very lenient on him, but he is underwhelming at best. He struck gold in 2009, but he tested the whole of 2008 for that car. Strategy wise, he has some monkey at the pitwall making the wrong calls.

    He had to sacrifice Schumacher to save his own butt. If Hamilton fails, RB is out. Brawn is a technical director, not a team owner/manager. His spell at Honda and Mercedes show that. It is not without reason that Ferrari didn’t promote him when Todt quit.

    1. Pete says:

      spot on

      Lauda was hired to supervise a somewhat disappointing Ross Brawn and sack him, if need be

      the Mercedes board are clearly not impressed with him and rightly so

      it seems to me that F1 is such a closely knit community that nobody who is involved in it has a go at the other; if this was football management, Brawn would have been sacked some time ago, unless he was at Arsenal :)

      it’s also clear from all the comments by Brawn, Haug, Zetsche over the last months that Schumacher was their option A

      they only kicked him out, or rather, refused to play his waiting game, precisely because they were unsure he would commit and once Hamilton was on the market they really had to do something, but Schumi was still “dithering”

      maybe Schumi overplayed his hand, thinking Mercedes would wait for his decision, but really there was an interesting interview with Ralf on German TV a few days back, where he said that BOTH Schumacher AND Mercedes got what they wanted; then Ralf smiled and said that we should wait and see what would happen next; sounded like Michael deliberately wanted to leave Mercedes because they could not deliver a car in which he could win races, and maybe that at a team like Sauber, he thinks he can

      Alonso said in Singapore that Schmumi would have won THREE races in a Sauber this season

      still

      another German journalist says that Schumi seemed distracted all weekend in Singapore

      so maybe Mercedes did catch him on the wrong foot when they went for Hamilton

      the silly comments via radio by Brawn or some engineer just after the accident, and the lack of clarification on Brawn’s part about Schumi’s problems with the brakes ALL weekend, do indicate though , that really it was time to leave for Schumi anyway

      let’s just hope he ends up at Sauber and beats Lewis in a Mercedes

      1. James says:

        Yes it is more than suited Mercedes not to clarify any possible brake issues with Schumachers car.

        Also did they really want to admit to yet another car failure the week they were going to announce Lewis Hamilton as their 2013 driver, I doubt it.

      2. Rach says:

        Let me get this right your saying that Mercedes didn’t want to take the simple telemetry to the stewards that would prove that schumi broke at the correct point and rather he got a 10 place penalty?

        By the way I am a massive Schumi fan but I don’t buy this!

      3. timW says:

        And of course Michael would be more than happy for people to think he is an idiot rather than just the victim of a car failure! I’m sure he would take all the vitriol on the chin to help the team who had just sacked him!

      4. Doobs says:

        TiimW, Schumi is a team player first and foremost. Yeah he’d take one for the team, you can bet your arse on that.

  110. Schumi Fans says:

    F1 means business and I’m sure every team wants to get hold of the future heros in F1, I think that’s why Mercedes signed HAM.

    It’s not that important comparatively, that if Schumi is being forced out. I think every one has his own perception on this matter.

    What I dislike to see is people tend to give little credit to this ‘old man’. I’m gutted to see those pundits critizing Schumi whenever they can on live commentaries. It’s always easy to critize people, but can they do any better if they are on the same seat?

    He might score only half the points as Rosberg did in the last 3 years and ran into the back of other’s car a few times. But it’s clear that he did better and better in terms of qualifying and race pace gradually in the last 3 years and even achieved a provisional pole in Monaco. For those who think Rosberg is underestimated, what can u say when u see a man who is 20 years older still improve in his performance on track in a higher degree than u do?

    I seriously hope Schumi can secure a driving seat for one more year elsewhere in a better team. After that, if the car has a little more reliability and less tire wear, then win 1 or 2 races and go back into retirement. then other old guys can’t say any thing.

    Afterall, he’s still the icon in F1!! please give a little bit more respect

  111. DANNY says:

    These Schumacher fans never stop with their spin and fantasies. Schumacher failed in his comeback. He was lucky to last this long based on his performance. Only some charity work from Bernie will see him find seat as a journeyman and support driver. Sports stars fade and are forgotten by the next generation just like pop stars.

  112. arknor says:

    I remember after the valencia GP the sky team were talking to pat fry and they asked if he was worried about alonso winning the race.
    pat fry replied they (everyone in ferraris pit area) were more worried about weather schumacher would get on the podium.

    people like benson who has never been positive in his articles about schumacher is speaking rubbish when he claims ferrari have already said they arent interesting in schumacher.

    all the high scoring points places schumacher finished from at the start of the season werent this fault yet mercedes are trying to pass off the blame…

    gear box is AUS
    grosjean in malaysia
    wheel not fitted in china
    fuel pump in monaco.
    and the rest…

    seems like haug and brawn have used schumacher as a scape goat for the teams failures.

    i feel sorry for hamilton jumping into bed with this team they have no doubt sold him a fairy tale like they did schumacher 3 years ago

  113. Tim says:

    Hi James,
    Have you recently published/written any updated versions of your Schumacher biography: Edge of Greatness to include his comeback?

    Perhaps you’re waiting to see whether retirement II is about to be announced!
    Thanks!

    1. James Allen says:

      No plans to do that

      1. Z says:

        Good, there’d be nothing much to write about.

      2. Davexxx says:

        LOL! Great one!!! ;-) ;-)
        “Schumi II – the Rear-Ending Years” ?

      3. Kay says:

        Any plans to do a Raikkonen / Alonso?

  114. aveli says:

    It’s a shame Schumacher couldn’t build a team of people around him to build him a car that suits him to win a string of championships like he did at Ferrari as he was often accused of doing.
    He’ll surely surely announce to those of us interested what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

  115. schick says:

    Ross Brawn fell on his feet selling his team to MB…what a dud! and Norbet Haug must surely be answerable to MB board for the recommendation,Norbet is an imposter as a team manager maybe why Niki.L. is there to exert a little pressure. Huge problems for MB racing, the board are considering is it all worth it, providing engines for teams (except Sauber) is the way to go.

  116. aveli says:

    Did Schumacher not develope an injured neck when Ferrari asked him to come out of retirement following Massa’s crash?

  117. Paul D says:

    Not counting the Tyrrell days, but since 1999 and the BAR launch, Brackley F1 have only built two quality F1 cars. One being the BAR006 in 2004 and the other being the Brawn in 2009.

    2 good cars in 14 years wouldn’t fill me with confidence. I think Schumi is better off out of there and Hamilton has made a very poor career choice.

    1. toleman fan says:

      The ’04 car was vastly slower than the all-conquering Ferrari, never won a race (unlike Renault, Mclaren and Williams that year), and was only the third fastest car overall until Renault made a deliberate decision to cut resources on the ’04 car and sacrifice second place in the WCC to improve their chances under the revised rules slated for ’05.

      BAR-Honda took 2nd place from Renault by a margin of 14 points, with fewer than half Ferrari’s score. Renault won both championships for the next two years.

      Personally, I think the BAR ’04 and ’06 cars are both hugely overrated. Just my 2c.

    2. Kay says:

      Well Ferrari wasn’t exactly attractive before MSC arrived and made it so successful as we all now know it.

  118. F1-Insider says:

    For me he is never the champion so many say he is, he was (this is simply a fact as I see it) a cheat with his first championship won by default as Hill would have been champion had he not been deliberately run into and how could ANY true F1 fan forgive his disgraceful conduct during the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying?
    In addition to the above unlike the likes of Senna and even Hamilton, Schumacher never had a true racing team-mate to race against because of his own insistence.

    No, for me he’ll not be missed and his whole comeback has been poor to say the least, we all age, time to move on……

    1. zombie says:

      Yep, tell us more how Senna never ran into other cars or his legendary “niceties” towards his peers and team owners. Schumacher probably asked moms around the world to stop producing competitive babies who would grow up and challenge him throughout 90s upto mid-2000s. Wow! The logic some of the haters bring to the table are just priceless !

      1. Val from montreal says:

        Great post Zombie – always a pleasure !! Really funny bit about the moms stopping producing competetive babies throughout the 90′s …. Lol

      2. arknor says:

        everyone forgets the 3 times was it that hill ran in to the back of schumacher….

    2. Rach says:

      It’s funny this teammate thing. In his comeback he has had equal status with Rosberg a man 16 years younger than him and he has not disgraced himself.

      I wonder if it has ever occured to you that the teams he won championships in actually were teams that hadn’t had any success prior to him joining them. Was it any surprise that they favoured him?

      Lastly, Schumacher could have gone to Mclaren or Williams at any point in his career but chose not to. He won all his GP’s on the back of the hard work that he put in in forming these teams. People forget this in attacking him whilst other drivers in history take the simple option and go to the best team.

      1. Doors says:

        Same as Hamilton -supposedly one of the top current drivers – had some carbon fibre swapping sessions last season. It happens. Not an excuse, just a fact of life.

  119. peter says:

    agree with above. schumi much better off out of there. best options are either sauber, ferrari or lotus (unlikely).
    every time i see that mercedes – its like waiting for the tires to drop off and them to fall back. you have to remember that compared to rosberg schumi has done pretty well this year! (I think the car is rubbish)
    i think sauber could be a dark horse. their car is quite good and could surprise.
    sauber would no doubt benefit – as a long list of companies surely would want to cover that white car of theirs.

  120. Sikhumbuzo says:

    Well

    Mercedes probably knows more on why MSC car broke too unusual this session, and I don’t think Singapore crash was not brake related as they had it all weekend.

    MSc has been done in heavy this year by Mercedes or a syndicate in there that did not want him to succeed I think.

    With the Pirelli Tyres Sauber are the best bet and yes a lil I thank you to Peter for the loan won’t hurt. But there is still a chance Mercesdes can have a third driver in Rosberg.

    ST

  121. Craig Baker says:

    I would like to see Schmacher buy HRT and drive with de la rosa. That way he is less likely to run up the back of another car and if he does the cash comes out of his pocket.

  122. Pete says:

    some interesting background information to the deal from “auto-motor-sport”

    it seems the “Hamilton to Mercedes”-move was still quite shaky until Singapore

    according to their sources, the deal was certainly not done in Monza already

    a lot depended on Lauda’s involvement, it seems

    also with regards to the Concorde-Agreement

    the Mercedes managers believe that had Lewis won in Singapore, he would have stayed at McLaren

    in that case, Mercedes would have gone for Perez

    in other words, in Singapore already, Schumi was third choice

    apparently, Bernie did some meddling in the background as well

    http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/formel-1/hamiltons-weg-zu-mercedes-schumacher-nur-dritte-wahl-5818790.html

    meanwhile, Berger thinks Schumi should retire

    and even his old manager Weber says Schumi should not go to a small team like Sauber

    in the end, it will probably be a gut-decision

    my fear is that Shoemaker will be extra motivated in the remaining races and clinch another “surprise” podium

    and then retire on a high

  123. Elie says:

    Yeah ! because Lewis and Pastor are at retirement age and Sauber have offered them a drive for 2013. Or maybe because both accidentally run into the back of cars regularly at over 200kph- well I guess it’s accidental now & not done intentionally to destroy closest rivals chances of winning championships ..Or maybe they are so good the that whole world can wait till they decide whether they want to drive next year or not or perhaps because they can’t be told with whom or when they will be replaced… Or… Nah that’ll do !

  124. Bass Barreltone says:

    Well, whatever MS decides there will, of course, be a big send off with speeches and the rest. And doubtless Kimi will be doing a number two at the time.

  125. Aug says:

    “… was sacked with a press release so cold, as he had done earlier with his opponents.” This is the game.

  126. JohnO says:

    there is still a twist to this. Schumi will end up at Ferrari with Massa going to Sauber

    1. Kay says:

      Jeez read into things before speaking such non-sense! Why are there so many like you?

      Massa already said previously that if Ferrari were to dump him, he would rather hang up his helmet than carry on with another team just to rack up the numbers!

  127. Don Farrell says:

    I’m a huge MSC fan… I’ve so much respect for the guy… I’m a huge Ferrari fan… but it really is time for him to bow out of F1. He is magically touch / luck has expired when it comes to winning.

    If he didn’t return to F1 with Mercedes he’d still have a flawless place in the history books… now history has to be re-written to include his last 3 disasterous years in F1.

    As for MSC returning to Ferrari… a lovely thought to see the old champion returning ‘home’ to where the magic started. But Ferrri has a new King…. Alonso… and there isn’t room for them both. Alonso is happy to have an obedient meek Massa as his team-mate…. Alonso wouldn’t tolerate any team-mate challenging his dominence as Ferrari’s premiere driver.

    So MSC must do the right thing… and leave F1 gracefully…. go buy into Marussia or start a team and start a new career as a team owner maybe?

  128. Eric Weinraub says:

    My passion for Formula 1 is only rivaled by my passion for rooting for MSC. I think Michael was simply pushed aside because of indecision and Ross being overruled by his bosses in Germany. While Michael is a big PR draw his performance has not exceeded the capabilities of the car ie Ferrari 1996.

    With no more than 2 years left in the sport, I see Michael options as the following:

    #1 Sauber

    Peter’s last top flight drivers were Heidfeld and Frentzen… since then, they have been a Ferrari B team for Massa, Perez, and others. Peter no doubt has an affinity to MSC and his star appeal for sponsor dollars in this tough economy could outweigh his nature in putting young drivers in the car… I also expect Michael to waive his salary to drive

    #2 Williams

    Senna, in the twiglight of his career, came to Williams at what was to be the beginning of their team pinnacle only to be killed at Imola resulting in only 2 championships, 96/97, when more certainly could have been possible. Here is Frank’s chance to turn back the clock and make another run … Frank and MSC are at the end of their time!

    #3 Ferrari

    Sadly, Massa is not consistent enough while he does, at times, possess the raw speed. Kimi and several other drivers are not Ferrari men the way MSC is. I see this as a very outside chance but certainly is intriguing.

  129. Pete says:

    there are some more interesting background stories about this whole sorry affair in the current, usually well-informed, “Sportbild”

    getting rid of Schumi and hiring Lewis had a lot to do with Mercedes CEO Zetsche, it seems

    basically, Zetsche’s fall-out with Ron Dennis is at the core of this

    the Mercedes bosses felt betrayed when Dennis decided to launch the McLaren supercar at the same time as they were launching their very own SLS; the partnership broke up shortly afterwards and Mercedes, not least to spite McLaren, decided to start their own team (by taking over Brawn GP)

    they were not allowed to hire McLaren staff until 2012 though

    luring McLaren’s top driver away is really the coup-de-grace in this saga

    also, some sheik from Katar or so seems to own 40% of Mercedes GP; the guy seems to have a major crush on Lewis, so much so that he gives him high-end-cars as presents

    another factor in this story is Lauda

    the Austrian was brought in to help negotiate the Concorde Agreement with Bernie

    apparently, Brawn and Ernie had reached a stalemate , the two don’t seem to get along at all; the Mercedes board then asked Lauda to facilitate, and he did; agreeing terms with Lauda allowed Bernie to make Ross look obsolete

    the Mercedes board were so impressed with Lauda that they asked him to stay on in a more permanent capacity

    then, there is the Lauda relationship with Schumacher: it seems the Austrian was a consultant at Ferrari when Schumi arrived; Michael was then instrumental in getting rid of Lauda, something he has not forgotten

    as for Lauda/Lewis: viewers of his RTL commentary in Germany have always been slightly miffed about his love-in with Hamilton when Vettel first started to contend for the title with Red Bull. Lauda was simply not interested in Vettel AT ALL and always seemed to belittle his achievements, whereas everything Hamilton did was simply brilliant; to German viewers this seems just ridiculously non-patriotic and unjustified as well

    as a new consultant Lauda could now orchestrate the Lewis deal and get rid of Schumi at the same time

    to the Mercedes board this looked like a good deal; back in Germany their Betriebsrat (employers’ council) was beginning to publicly criticize the F1 commitment as a waste of money at a time of economic hardship, with precious little to show for the investment

    the Schumi deal had clearly not catapulted the team into contention and therefore failed

    getting a new young face like Hamilton together with Lauda, a very prominent supervisor of the struggling Brawn, allowed the board to pretend this was a fresh start that merited signing the long-term Concorde Agreement

    there are also reports that Zetsche got tired of Schumi’s dithering, so much so that he made up his mind at Hockenheim already that Schumi had to go

    ——

    ah well, who knows what is true or not

    back in Germany there are MANY fans who are seriously unamused by what they feel is Mercedes kicking out Schumi when really it was Brawn’s car that was not good enough

    Hamilton does not generate nearly the same excitement as an admittedly aging Schumacher

    the social media are awash with furious Schumacher fans

    who certainly do NOT consider the Lewis signing to be a coup at all

    pretty much a PR-fiasco

    and what a bizarre coincidence that Michael Ballack has just retired from professional football as well

    1. James Allen says:

      Some interesting points. Zetsche was certainly important in this.

      However I can assure you that Lauda has huge respect for Vettel. I interviewed him on the grid in Melbourne 2011 and he said then that Vettel was the strongest driver in the field. I’ve not had a conversation with him since that has changed that impression

      1. chris says:

        No, but Lauda is now proclaiming Hamilton to be absolutely the best on the grid ( even in a bad car whenever that was ). Changes his opinion like the wind.

      2. James Allen says:

        Well he would say that wouldn’t he? But the Vettel comment was from a time when he was unattached

    2. Koka says:

      Great insight, thx for info, mate!

  130. DanWilliams from Aust says:

    I thought Brawn and SHU were like best friends…? Where leading up to the end of each season after SHU’s first retirement, Brawn would call him up and ask him to drive next season… Well I guess that won’t be happening ever again..

  131. Truth or Lies says:

    Michael retires, truly the end of an era, what a racer, so much spirit and determination and great humility too, especially in the later part of both his F1 careers.

    I understand now, why he came back, to be totally complete as a racer and a man he needed to experience pain and loss and in doing so has one a special place in all but the hardest hearts.

    Thank you Michael for all you’ve given, it’s been an amazing couple of decades.

    Warmest wishes in retirement, live long and enjoy.

  132. Hip Hop says:

    Thank you Michael, true legend.

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Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer